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Tickets going fast for South Cape Martini Competition

January 25, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander


It has become one of the most popular and anticipated events of the year in the South Cape, and attendees will have the opportunity to determine the winner.

The South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Association's 12th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition Trolley event is Saturday and there are seats still available but, as of Thursday, not many left for the event that always is a sell-out.

Of the 1,200 tickets, more than 80 percent had been sold. Those few remaining spots tend to go quickly the night of the event, said Pamela Hazelton, marketing manager at BackStreets Sports Bar.

"This event will most likely sell out by Friday night, though there could be a few at check in. Most people who decide to come last minute flock in Friday night or Saturday morning and buy their tickets," Hazleton said.

Fact Box


Participants will travel via trolleys, stop at the participating establishments, try custom martini samples and specialty appetizers, and then vote for their favorite drink, food and experience.

Locations will include:

* BackStreets Sports Bar: Chocolate Rasberry Martini & Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream

* Big Blue Brewing: Keys Martini & Thai Coconut Chicken Salad Puff

* Cigar Bar: Peppermint Martini & Tempura Volcano Roll

* Cruisers: Woo Woo Martini & Swedish Meatballs

* Dixie Roadhouse: Dixie Peach Martini & Peach Cobbler

* Monkey Bar: Apple Martini & Pigs in a Blanket

* Rack Em's: Eve's Kiss & Serpents Bite Apple Dessert Cake

* Ralph's Place: Cucumber Watermelon Tini & Oyster Sashimi

* Rockade: Breakfast Martini & Chicken and Waffles

* Tiki Hut: French Martini & Chimichurri Chicken Skewers

* Two Amigos: Mexitini & Tacos de Pollo


Participants will travel around the Cape Coral Entertainment District on a special fleet of trolleys, stopping at participating establishments to relax a their custom martini and appetizer samples. At the end of the evening, everyone votes on their favorite martini and appetizer, with the top vote getters being declared the winners.

"People love to get on the trolley and not only are they sampling, but they are voting. They decide who serves the best martinis and appetizers," Hazelton said. "These are unique martinis, not the standard ones. The appetizer could be something they regularly serve or it could be something brought in for the event."

At BackStreets, for example, Hazelton said they would serve a chocolate raspberry martini, paired with chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream from the Ice Cream Club, another local business.

The Monkey Bar has been involved with the event every year. This time around it will offer Pigs in a Blanket and an apple martini, said Nico Bogert, co-owner, who added that every year, the event brings in new people who become regulars.

"This is the greatest thing they do. It gives us great exposure and new clients. People get to see your place. We are not just a bar," Bogert said. "It's an incredibly busy night. You have 1,200 people coming in and out and it goes all night long."

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the event, and can be purchased on Eventbrite. Designated driver tickets are available for $20 at BackStreets and include a soda or bottled water at each event.

The price includes unlimited rides on the trolleys, a passport to all martini and appetizer sampling locations, the martini and appetizer samples, and voting ballot.

Get your passport stamped at all 11 locations and you can enter to win a gift bucket filled with vodka, martini glasses and other fine items.

Check-in for this event is open from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Big John Plaza and in front of Dixie Roadhouse. Late check-in from 7:30 to 10 p.m. is in front of Dixie Roadhouse.

A martini competition photo booth will be located in front of Dixie Roadhouse. Photos will be uploaded to Facebook and the public will vote for their favorites. SCHEA will pick the winner, who will get four free tickets to the Mardi Gras Trolley Event on Feb. 24.

"People just have a lot of fun. They aren't coming just for the martinis. They'll come wearing martini sunglasses or fullydressed up," Hazelton said. "They turn it into a group event."

A limited supply of tickets is available at BackStreets Sports Bar, Big Blue Brewing, Cigar Bar, Cruisers, Monkey Bar, Rack'em Spirits & Times, Tiki Hut and Two Amigos.

This is a 21+ event and ID will be required. For more information, go to



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