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Top Reasons We Love the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic

Rocky Collins & Kayla Hasbrook

It’s far more than just a cocktail competition. Here’s what we’re looking forward to in 2018.

We're toasting to the return of the world's largest annual LGBT bartender competition and celebration, the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic. To honor the occasion, we're serving up some reasons we love the series, now in its 5th year.

It's More than Just a Cocktail Competition


Each year, Stoli awards thousands of dollars to charities by way of the winning SKWCC competitors. Last year, the 2017 Champion Kayla Hasbrook got to present a check of $7,500 to Planned Parenthood and a check for $5,000 to the Key West Firehouse Museum. Second place Winner Roger Lords received $2,500 which he donated back to Key West to assist with relief from Hurricane Irma. This year, Stoli is awarding the winner of the 2018 Key West Cocktail Classic a portion of $20,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

It Honors the LGBT Legacy in Key West


The city of Key West has a long standing history of serving the LGBT community, and the Key West Business Guild, now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, is one of the main partners behind with the Cocktail Classic's success. Known as the original gay vacation spot, Key West has been serving the LGBT community for decades and is home to the oldest LGBT chamber of the commerce in the country. Famed playwright Tennessee Williams first began vacationing in Key West 80 years ago, which inspired many other LGBT artists to flock to this oasis. This June, 14 local champions will head to Key West in hopes of winning the 2018 title as Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Champion.

It Pays Tribute to Gay Bars as Safe Spaces for LGBT Individuals


Gay bars represent safe spaces for LGBT people to be themselves, and the bartenders that serve in them have everything to do with that spirit of inclusivity. Stoli has a long standing commitment to #RaisingTheBar in the LGBT community. "LGBT bars and bartenders really were leaders in the modern equality movement, serving as original community centers and safe spaces," offers Patrik Gallineaux, National LGBT Ambassador for Stoli. "Raising the Bar is our vow to the community to not only continue our long-standing support, but to amplify it."

A Stage to Showcase Incredible Talent


From the Bar Stars themselves giving a fabulous cocktail crafting performance, to the judges, drag queens, and looks donned by each competitor, we love the colorful talent at all the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic events. To RSVP to an event near you, click here.

And Finally, the Amazing Cocktails!


We love the creativity and fabulous recipes for innovative Stoli cocktails, like the creation from last year's winner Kayla Hasbrook. In 2017, her winning cocktail "No Sleep 'til Midnight" featured 1.5 oz of Stoli Premium, turmeric infusions, muddled cucumber, pineapple, and lime zest. Now that's a cocktail we'll vote for!

Follow along with all the 2018 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic at

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