After Ginny Lawhorn returned from her third annual Tales of the Cocktail convention in New Orleans, she realized that Baltimore could use something similar.
"Baltimore's economy is so deeply rooted in the service industry," says Lawhorn, who is the lead bartender at Landmark Theatre in Harbor East and co-owns Sticky Rice with her husband. "But the wellness of that community isn't reflected as a whole."
So she decided to start Baltimore Cocktail Week, which will run from March 22-29, to provide classes that enrich the lives of those in the service industry, but also expose the community at large to the innovative spirits and burgeoning cocktail landscape right in our backyard.
The week kicks off with a launch party at Pen & Quill on March 22 and will feature cocktail week participants crafting signature drinks. The winning bartender will be awarded a $250 prize and a matching contribution to a preferred charity.
Then BCW continues with classes designed specifically for those in the industry, like a financial wellness class, a restorative yoga class specifically geared toward people on their feet all the time, and a whiskey 101 class with Balvenie brand ambassador David Laird.
Another public reception will be held on March 24 at Landmark Theatre that will include a cocktail reception and a private screening of Chef.
Probably one of the most exciting aspects is that the signature drinks will be available at the nearly 15 participating locations throughout the week. With each purchase, a $1 donation will be made to charitable organizations chosen by the participants.
"My foremost goal is for the people in the industry to reflect how they care for themselves in their position," Lawhorn says. "My second goal is for the community to be able to explore cocktails, their service providers, and have a conversation about the exciting cocktail movement that has been gaining so much traction here."