7 spirited events to check out during the ninth annual Sacramento Cocktail Week

Photos courtesy of Sacramento Cocktail Week

Sacramento Cocktail Week is back for its ninth year Aug. 14-20, with spirited gatherings—from mixology contests to a cocktail hour train ride—taking place all over town. Here are seven highlights from the boozy bacchanalia.

The Masters Competition

Aug. l4 Cocktail Week kicks off with a toast to the town at Old Ironsides as 10 veteran local bartenders vie for the right to wear the prize, a coveted green letterman jacket, for the coming year. Competitors like Chris Tucker of Hook & Ladder, Joe Anthony Savala of Zocalo and Chris Dooley of Ella will stir, shake and pour their way through the cocktail contest as attendees sip whiskey-infused drink specials. Free admission. 2-5 p.m. Old Ironsides. 1901 10th St. theoldironsides.com

The Dude Imbibes

Aug. 14 Show up at Bottle & Barlow dressed as the Dude, Walter or Donny for a chance to win a costume contest at this celebration of the Coen brothers’ cult favorite The Big Lebowski. Or channel your inner Dude and imbibe his signature cocktail, a White Russian, while you watch local mixologists face off in a Wii-bowling tournament. Free admission. 6-9 p.m. Bottle & Barlow. 1120 R St. bottleandbarlow.com

The Tavern on the Green

Aug. 15 You can putt your swing to the test at this golf-themed party at midtown’s Hook & Ladder. The restaurant’s bar will be decked out in golf gear and decorations, including a miniature golf course where you can vie for prizes. Snap a selfie in a golf cart photo booth, sip cocktail specials and chow down on 19th-hole staples like roast beef hoagies, carnitas tacos, house-made bratwurst and falafel burgers. Free admission. 6-9 p.m. Hook & Ladder. 1630 S St. hookandladder916.com

It Takes Two to Tiki

Aug. 16 It takes two to make you a Mai Tai at this comical, tropical competition at The Red Rabbit. Bartenders will be paired off and wrapped together in oversized T-shirts, then forced to prep drinks using one arm each. Cheer them on as you sip tiki drinks and nibble on Polynesian bar bites. The restaurant will feature beachy décor and guests are encouraged to wear their favorite tropical prints. Free admission. Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar. 2718 J St. theredrabbit.net

A bartender at Bottle & Barlow mixes up a craft cocktail.

SCW Cocktail Competition

Aug. 17 Harlow's will host this annual cocktail battle, the week's main event, which crowns a local bar as the champion of this year’s Cocktail Week. Teams of three from Sacramento establishments like LowBrau, Shady Lady, The Red Rabbit, Coin-Op and Paragary’s (the reigning champ) will craft their best cocktails while racing against each other and the clock. Guests can watch the action while sampling punches devised by each of the eight participating bars. $10 presale; $15 at the door. 6-9 p.m. Harlow’s. 2708 J St. ticketfly.com

Craft Cocktail Fishbowl Competition

Aug. 17 Bartenders compete to mix up drinks big enough to fill Barwest’s popular 64-ounce craft cocktail fishbowls. The winner will receive a custom fishbowl-themed wrestling belt. Free admission. 9-11 p.m. Barwest. 2724 J St. mybarwest.com

Wild West Cocktail Extravaganza

Aug. 18 Cocktail Week concludes with Sacramento RiverTrain's Wild West-themed festival, with food truck fare and drinks from over 10 spirit brands, including Four Roses Bourbon, Michter’s and Ketel One Vodka. Hosted by the Sacramento Bartenders Guild, the event will also feature live music by Stockton-based bluegrass group Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players. $30. 6-9 p.m. Sacramento RiverTrain. 400 North Harbor Blvd. West Sacramento. eventbrite.com

Some Sacramento Cocktail Week events require reservations or tickets in advance. All require proof of age. For more information, visit sacramentococktailweekcom.

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