Bar Wars 2016 is well under way, and you can help decide who will be the winner when you go to the eight participating bars and try their cocktails. This year, the theme is "Asheville Takes Manhattan." Made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and often garnished with a Maraschino or brandied cherry, the Manhattan is one of the most classic and sophisticated cocktails out there. The competition culminates on Sunday, December 4th with an event at the Salvage Station, where the four finalists will be put to the test during a Manhattan mix-off in front of a panel of judges. As an end cap to the nine-day event, there will be a Repeal Day cocktail party on Monday, December 5th at Smoky Park Supper Club, where guests will be treated to a special menu and a talk from cocktail history expert Philip Greene, the authority on Manhattans and author of The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail.
The competition nods to the big city in its aesthetic as well. Participants will receive a "subway map" where they can track the bars they've visited and note their top picks. The eight bars competing are: