Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2015 is more than a month away, however the pre-event, the Grand Cocktail Competition featuring many of the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week GR is being launched nest Monday, July 6 to get the public involved in cocktail tasting throughout the month of July.

Grand Cocktail Competition 2015 entries have been sent in from participating Restaurant Week GR restaurants. There are two categories in the competition that the public can vote on:

• “Most Creative Woodford Reserve Julep”, and
• “Most Creative Herradura Tequila Summer Cocktail”.

The public can try one or both of these Grand Cocktail Entries at 29 of the Restaurant Week GR restaurants from July 6 – August 4 by visiting the restaurants listed below. During the month long competition the public can discuss the competition on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #RWGR and cast their final votes for their favorites on RestaurantWeekGR.com/CocktailContest by August 4.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images for Christian Louboutin
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images for Christian Louboutin
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All restaurants and cocktail recipes in the competition will be featured on RestaurantWeekGR.com under “Cocktail Contest” starting July 6. The most votes gathered online by August 4 will decide the “People’s Choice” Grand Cocktail Competition winners in both categories.

Following the Grand Cocktail Competition, Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2015 will begin on Wednesday, August 12 and will run for twelve days through Sunday, August 23 at 60 restaurants. Forty-two participating restaurants will serve creative three-course menus for $28. At 18 restaurants, 2 people can experience a 3-course menu for $28. All creative menus will feature foods and products grown locally, highlighting the summer harvest in West Michigan. The public is encouraged to “Taste the City” and try new restaurants that they have not experienced before, as well as, return to old favorites all around the city.

There will also be a judged competition for the Grand Cocktail Contest with judges, of which I am one, selecting 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in both categories. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it, right? The judging will take place at an invitation-only event on August 5 at Gravity Taphouse and Grill. Grand Prize (1st place) Winners of the Grand Cocktail 2015 competition will win a 2-day all expense paid trip for two to Woodford Reserve in Kentucky or $500 for the Herradura Tequila Competition. Winners of the People’s Choice Competition and the Judged Competition will be announced after the Grand Cocktail 2015 Judged Competition at Gravity on August 5.