PHOTOS: Palm Springs Cocktail Challenge Hits Industry In NYC

Palm Springs is touting its reputation as a go-to gay destination with a new nationwide contest that looks to find the best gay-bar drink slingers in America.

Sponsored by the city of Palm Springs, Here! Media, Alaska Airlines, Stoli vodka and GayCities, the 3rd Annual Palm Springs Summer Splash Cocktail Challenge kicked off last Thursday (a.k.a  Leap Day) at Industry in New York City.  (The finalists from all the regional competitions go head to head in Plam Springs on May 31.)

GayCities chose Hells Kitchen darling, Paige Turner (left)—the popular hostess of Slurp every Sunday at Vlada—as its representative on the panel, where she was joined by drag vixen Tina Burner and Edge Media’s J.T. Alvarez.

Barracuda‘s handsome bartender Brent Heuser won the night with a Stoli Blueberry cocktail that truly wowed the judges—though his ice-blue Terminator costume and sick rapping skills really pushed him over the top.

Sadly, emcee Dallas DuBois, who was enjoying the contestants’ concoctions, had to pass Brent’s drink off to a audience member—she’s allergic to berries!  A drag queen turn away a free drink? Isn’t that the first sign of the Apocalypse?

But it’s not just bartenders heading to the gorgeous California oasis: GayCities is giving away roundtrip airfare for two on Alaska Airlines andr a four-day/three-night stay at the Riviera Palm Springs.

To enter, just submit a photo from your local Cocktail Challenge on the Gaycities contest page. One lucky winner will be heading to the Palm Springs Summer Splash Cocktail Challenge!

Is the Palm Springs Cocktail Challenge coming to your town? Find out on GayCities (and be sure to visit the GayCities Guide to Palm Springs, too).

Photos via J.J. Keyes