Another Bush Construction Martini Shake-Off is in the books, and the winners are the HAVLife Foundation and of course the Quad Cities.

Thursday night, I had the opportunity to be a guest judge this year. As I arrived with my friend Shawn Loter from the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, we were greeted with a baseball hat. In the past few years, judges were paired up in the martini category that satisfied their taste buds. This year they did things a little different. We reached into the baseball hat and chose our category. Shawn got "classic" and I got "desert." We were offered a opportunity to switch with someone else. I made a switch with someone who wanted the desert category and got classic.

The judging was fun. Good conversations with other judges and delicious martinis.

The doors opened at 5:30pm. It was like a flood of people looking for a good time and to enjoy some good martinis. Shawn and I met up with our friends and it was a party. 15 of us all looking good and having a good time.

Hard to believe the "shake-off" started 10 years ago at St. Ambrose and has grown ever since moving to the Red Stone Room, and eventually the River Center.

Oh, I almost forgot the winners! I mean we were all winners in my book, but special congrats goes to the following establishments:

Classic Martini: Pub 1848

Dessert Martini: Steventons

Fruit Martini: Jumers

Bar Tenders Choice: J Bar

Shaker Space: Duck City

Presentation: J Bar

Peoples Choice: Icons

Congrats to all the establishments involved:

7G Distributing

11th Street Precinct Bar & Grill

Analog Arcade Bar


Baked Beer & Bread Co.

Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge

Blue Cat Brew Pub

Duck City Bistro

Embers of the Phoenix

Granite City Food & Brewery

ICONS Martini

The J Bar

Jumer's Casino & Hotel

Mac's Tavern

The Office

Pub 1848



Smoking Dog

Soiree Wine & Martini Lounge


Treehouse Pub & Eatery