Competition entry is now closed. Watch this space for the short list!

Symphonic hits Boston

We don't need to tell you about the exceptional standard of drinks the city’s bars put out night after night. It only felt natural we would kick off this Uncategorized competition in The City of Champions.

Before you get too excited, let us cover the basics and timeline for the festivities.

  • When: Monday, October 2nd - 12-5pm
  • Where: The Lexington, 100 N First St Fl 2, Cambridge, MA 02141
  • Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, September 12th
  • Top 6 will be announced on Tuesday, September 19th

everything you need to know about empirical's symphonic competition

You'd better read this before you apply

The Facts are The Facts

Symphonic is set to become Empirical’s first-ever cocktail competition, placing our truly uncategorized Symphony 6 spirit in the hands of bartenders around the country to showcase what they can do with no holds barred competition, and some music they vibe with.

As always with Empirical, the devil is in the detail but don’t worry, no one needs to be building their own vacuum still for this.

Every entrant needs to create a Symphony 6 cocktail (at least 1.5oz of such in there) with any other products from the Empirical collection, past and present, welcome to join the mix.

Other booze products are welcome but use less yeah?

When it comes to presentation, there are only three rules

  1. You have 6 minutes on stage to do what you want with your creation
  2. You need to make 4 serves of your cocktail in this time
  3. There must be some nod, reference, signal or other such connect to a piece of music

You can talk for all 6 mins and just chat about the drink and music. Or you can hit us with your best jazzercise routine to Janet and say nothing. 

The uncategorized freedom to present your cocktail, your way, is totally up to you.

The Rules are The Rules

You don’t have to be a bartender to enter - if you work with, love and like to play around with flavor, you’re welcome to enter!

Your serve must be a beverage served in a single vessel. Sidecars/mini carafes, etc. are permitted.

You cannot alter the base spirit. No infusion, re-distillation, or other manipulation that would change the flavors of the spirit.  

Your drink must have 1.5oz total of Empirical Symphony 6 to qualify.

All other brands, spirits & liquors are permitted 

You can use as many ingredients as you like - HOWEVER - the top of every scorecard has the question “Does this drink taste good?”. If the judge answers no, you will score zero points from that judge. Bad drink = instant disqualification.

Milk punches, force carbonated & batched drinks are allowed - HOWEVER - if you present a pre-batched serve in any capacity, you must speak for a minimum 6 minutes and extra of all homemade ingredients must be brought out for judges to taste on their own as well.

  1. You must be behind the bar presenting for 6 minutes.
  2. The judges must be able to try each of the bitters, syrup & citrus separately.

You will have 2 minutes to set up & 6 minutes to present. During these minutes, you must make 4 serves of your cocktail because 

  1. The prize will involve working a shift serving your drinks so it must be suitable for bar service.
  2. We need to make sure that your vessel is something functional.
  3. Bartending competitions should involve actual bartending.

Racism, homophobia, and cruel statements/actions are prohibited and will result in immediate disqualification. Flavor and glassware have no gender. Sex work is real work and not to be made fun of or trivialized. Respect everyone’s pronouns and the general right to live their life freely. Just be a good human yeah?

The Prize

There's got to be a prize. obvi. And it's a Winner Takes It All kind of competition.

If you're that person, you will be brought down to NYC all expenses paid to take part in a very special Empirical event in November. And the cherry on top of the cake, you'll be invited back as the judge of honor for Symphonic Boston 2024.

Get in gear!

Score Card

  • Does this drink taste good?

Yes = 1pt

No = Disqualified

  • Balanced Flavor -    /10

1 = Just bad. Flavor is lacking, unclear and/or unenjoyable.

5 = Passable. It's there and I’m not against it, but something is clearly missing / not right.

10 = Hell yeah. Flavor is identifiable, loaded with deliciousness and/or something I want to bathe in.

  • Innovation -    /9

1 = Womp womp. No attempt was made or spectacularly failed to execute.

5 = You tried! Maybe it misfired and was overly complicated, but the effort has value.

9 = Nerd alert. Boundaries pushed and/or the game has been changed.

  • Drink Presentation -    /8

1 = Bad. This is an ugly drink and it makes me sad.

4 = Passable. It's all there but hardly ‘gram worthy.

8 = Hell yeah. I’m eating with my eyes and loving it.

  • Working Cleanliness -   /8

1 = Welp. Nothing went in the glass, your station is trashed and the judges got an unwelcome shower.

4 = Acceptable. You’re no surgeon but the bar back won’t hate you either.

8 = Squeaky. Neat as a pin and not a drop out of place. 

  • Keeping Shit Weird -   /5

1 = Nothing to see here, just a bartender and their drink (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

5 = It was weird, special and wonderfully leftfield - into it.

  • Overall Presentation -   /9

1 = Razzer Award. Today was not your day. Mood, energy and final product were all a miss.

5 = Participation Award. You turned up and did the thing. Nothing more, nothing less.

9 = AVN worthy. Flawless execution that the whole crowd enthralled.

Terms and Conditions

By entering the EMPIRICAL SYMPHONIC COMPETITION you agree to be photographed and consent to your name and image being used for promotion on Empirical's social platforms.

You must be located in the Boston area to enter this competition.





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