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The great thing about inviting folks in the bar industry to a bash is that they never want the party to end.

About 100 bartenders and liquor-company reps from around the world will be in Seattle this weekend to attend Speed Rack, a cocktail contest. Most will stick around town to host a dozen other cocktail parties in Belltown and Capitol Hill.

What that means: You can expect a four-day cocktail extravaganza starting Saturday. It’s billed as the preview to August’s Seattle Cocktail Week, with lots of $5-$6 happy hours and exclusive tastings of rare rums, mescal and Japanese whisky.

The featured event, Speed Rack (Sunday at Century Ballroom), pits dozens of veteran bartenders from Portland to Seattle competing for the title of fastest female bartender in the Northwest. Proceeds benefit breast cancer research.

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Below are other events planned around Speed Rack. All are open to the public.


Sun Liquor Distillery, 512 E. Pike St., welcomes Speed Rack contestants, cocktail geeks and the Rat City Rollergirls from 4-6 p.m. with $6-$7 cocktails (

Rocco’s, 2228 Second Ave., hosts a cocktail event (9-11 p.m.) with guest bartender Colin Appiah from London, $6 drinks (

Vessel, 624 Olive Way, has a Brazilian Carnival themed party with Cachaça cocktails and live Brazilian music, 7-10 p.m. (


Speed Rack at Century Ballroom, 915 E. Pine St., 3 p.m.-7 p.m. A ticket, $20 advance/$25 at the door, includes cocktails and bar snacks (

After-Speed-Rack party at Liberty, 517 15th Ave. E., with $5 cocktails all night (


Poquitos, 1000 E. Pike St., hosts a Japanese Whisky seminar from 4-6 p.m. with some of the world’s top experts and some rare whiskys to sample. Tickets are $40, and include food (

Vessel hosts a vermouth-cocktail contest from 6-9 p.m. Cocktails featured in the contest will cost $8.

Rumba, 1112 Pike St., features an 8-11 p.m. tasting event including one of the oldest aged rums; $20 (


Poquitos hosts a tasting and seminar about mescal, a smoky cousin of tequila, 1-7 p.m., featuring some mescal not available in the Northwest. Lunch included; $50 (

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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