Starting January 7, wine and spirits importer Vinum is holding a cocktail competition on the first Monday of the month at Vessel. Blatant promotion of its own portfolio? Why, yes. But with barman turned spirits rep Andrew Bohrer running the show, it’s a safe bet that these gatherings will showcase come of the city’s best, and up-and-coming, cocktail creationists…and some pretty amazing drinks.

Six bartenders will face off each month. These throwdowns are open to any professional drink maker; you just have to use Vinum’s products (more details here). And for us laypersons, Bohrer says the competitions are open to the public, and attendees can sample bartenders' creations.

Drinks will be judged on various merits, including the highly official category of “bartender-ing,” aka whether a competitor can replicate his or her impressive cocktail recipe while simultaneously telling a joke, answering questions, or explaining how to pronounce the ingredients.

The first installment: Brown, bitter, and stirred drinks. Here's the current schedule and topic for each month's competition; future faceoffs include drinks that are at least 50 percent vermouth, cocktails made with egg, and absinthe. Spectators over 21 need only RSVP to attend these shindigs, which happen at 6pm.