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Published September 23rd, 2015
Mixing it Up
Cajun-spiced mixed nuts Photo Susie Iventosch

The second annual Lamorinda Arts Council "Art of Mixology" cocktail competition is just around the corner, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 at Orinda's Theatre Square. This year, the event will also feature a brand new "Art of Table Staging" competition category.
Competitors will serve up their signature cocktails to a distinguished panel of judges as they vie for the title of Mixologist of the Year, and a $500 cash prize and trophy. Second and third place winners will be awarded $250 and $100, respectively.
The "Art of Table Staging" category winner will be selected by J. Rockcliff Realtors and the Audience Choice craft cocktail winner will be selected by those who purchase tasting tickets. Aspiring at-home bartenders are also invited to compete for Top Amateur Mixologist.
We are featuring last year's winning cocktail recipe, The Perfect Pair, which was created by Joe Carpenter, formerly of The Cooperage in Lafayette.
And, because every good cocktail needs a good snack, I am publishing my husband's "secret" recipe for Cajun-spiced mixed nuts. He made this one up all by himself, and our friends and family always love this snack.
For more information about the Art of Mixology craft cocktail competition, to enter and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.lamorindaarts.org/mixology
Tasting tickets for adults 21 years of age and older are $45.

2014 Mixologist of the Year winner: Joe Carpenter (formally) of The Cooperage
2014 Mixologist of the Year winner, Joe Carpenter Photo courtesy Lauren Herpich

The Perfect Pair
1.5 ounces rye bourbon
0.75 ounce St. George Spicy Pear Liqueur
0.75 ounce tobacco syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
Top with hot mulled wine espuma, (foam or froth), and garnish with a pear segment

Cajun-spiced Mixed Nuts
2 pounds unsalted, mixed nuts
1-2 teaspoons canola oil
1-plus tablespoons lemon pepper
1-plus tablespoons Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss mixed nuts with the oil in a container with a tight-fitting lid, until well coated. Sprinkle lemon pepper and Cajun seasoning over nuts, and shake until well seasoned. Add more spices as desired, to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in closed container, until ready to serve.

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