Photo Essay: Who Makes the Best Drinks in Town? Local Mixologists Compete

Who says there are no good female mixologists in Los Angeles? Because there were plenty of them at the Gran Centenario Rosangel launch party and competition last night at Silver Lake's Malo. In the Mexican restaurant's gorgeous new upstairs space, cocktail enthusiasts and industry-folk gathered to partake of the delicious free food as well as the complimentary creative cocktails concocted by L.A.'s finest women mixologists, i.e. Natalie Bovis-Nelsen of The Liquid Muse and Liquid Chef Kim Haasarud to name a few. This was all to launch the newish hibiscus-infused tequila, Gran Centenario Rosangel.

And if guests were still thirsty, there was a cocktail competition where enthusiasts and pros alike competed for the judges' favor as well as the people's choice. Marcos Tello of The Edison even got in the spirit of the night by dressing in drag, a fringy little number to be specific.

Although revelers crowded around the main bar area to get to the featured bartender which changed every hour, there was also a dj in an adjacent room to inspire impromptu robot danceoffs and a food room where hungry guests made like greedy goldfish and lunged after freshly put down dishes of tortas and tacos.

Malo's new upstairs space holds about 150 but the evening's strict guest list had about 200 on it. Fortunately, folks came and went so it never got too out of hand. On a side note, if you hadn't already heard, Malo plans to open a downtown location next year on 7th Street near Grand Avenue.

By the end of the night, the winners of the contest were announced. Judges' choice was Matty Eggleston of The Hungry Cat and The Varnish for his comforting cocktail of Nutella, steamed milk and Rosangel Tequila. It was appropriately called Lullaby.

People's Choice winner was Silamith Weir, cocktail enthusiast and LA brand ambassador for Martin Miller's Gin. Her Casa Blanco cocktail was a crowd favorite for its exotic mix of sweetened condensed milk, rum, pineapple chunks, basil leaves, simple syrup and the Rosangel tequila.