Pinhead: 6th Annual Science of Cocktails, 6/25

Pinhead: 6th Annual Science of Cocktails, 6/25

Pinhead Institute’s 6th annual Science of Cocktails supports local STEM programming. General admission to the Science of Cocktails is $50 and includes private demonstrations, cocktail samples, appetizers, desserts, and a vote for People’s Choice, Top Shelf admission is $100 and also includes a grand prize raffle for a trio of Fabulous Festivals Passes. Tickets may be purchased here or at the door.

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Whether it’s with color-changing cocktails, bespoke bitters, or delicate dances between drinkable densities, the Pinhead Institute is taking a fun, interactive look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails during the Science of Cocktails on Saturday, June 25, and the community is invited.

Now in its sixth year, this entertaining, adults-only evening will take place in the Telluride Wine Festival Tent at Elk’s Park from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., and will feature science-spiked libations created by local master mixologists, drink demonstrations, appetizers, desserts, and a silent auction.

“We were lucky enough to be invited to use the Wine Festival tent once before, and when they reached out to us again to say we could hold court in their tent in Elks Park, we jumped at the chance,” said Pinhead’s Executive Director Sarah Holbrooke. “We love collaborating with other local entities and this is a great venue for us.”

After taking last year’s prize for crafting the “Perfect Pinhead Potion” with her color-morphing berry/citrus Electric Cocktail Acid Test, Corner House’s Colleen Thompson will defend her title for a third year in a row as judged by a panel of Pinhead experts.

"Perfect Pinhead Potion" winner Colleen Thompson of the Corner House crafts her color-morphing Electric Cocktail Acid Test during last year's Science of Cocktails. (Pinhead Institute courtesy photo).

“Perfect Pinhead Potion” winner Colleen Thompson of the Corner House crafts her color-morphing Electric Cocktail Acid Test during last year’s Science of Cocktails. (Pinhead Institute courtesy photo).

Thompson will compete against fellow mixologists including Chloe Deckwar of Cosmopolitan, Danielle Jenkins of Butcher and Baker, Patrick Laguens of Wine Geek Food Freak, Trang Pham from the Coffee Cowboy, and Andrew Romanyshyn from the New Sheridan Chop House.

Coffee Cowboy's Trang Pham creates a salted caramel dessert drink during the 2015 Science of Cocktails. (Pinhead Institute courtesy photo).

Coffee Cowboy’s Trang Pham creates a salted caramel dessert drink during the 2015 Science of Cocktails. (Pinhead Institute courtesy photo).

“It’s going to be a stiff, scientific competition of local talent. We’re thrilled so many creatives have volunteered their time to make this a one of a kind event with six one of a kind cocktails,” said Holbrooke. “It’s going to be off the hook!”

All funds raised at the Science of Cocktails will go towards Pinhead Institute programming, which includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics, supplemental education programs throughout much of Southwest Colorado, provided by the Telluride-based Smithsonian Affiliate organization. 

“Everyone in the community knows how important science is to our future. We’re thrilled that with so much local generosity, all our proceeds go to supporting scholarships for our amazing programming. Pinhead doesn’t let cost get in the way of teaching all kids in the communities we serve both the fun of science and its fundamental principles,” explained Holbrooke.


From serving a few hundred students annually to reaching nearly 7,000 students in 2015, Pinhead is increasingly engaging rural students in San Miguel, Ouray, and Montrose counties with a variety of STEM learning opportunities.

Programs include interactive labs, workshops, and field expeditions with PhD scientists and other specialists through its Scholars in the Schools program; free and paid after-school classes including robotics, computer coding, and makers’ workshops, and other enrichment programming.

This summer, the organziation has placed more than 20 rising high school seniors in its esteemed Pinhead Internship program, marking its largest ever intern class.

Students will go on to study quantum computing, gravitational waves, and astrophysics at prestigious institutions including the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Arizona State University, among a variety of STEM disciplines at labs, hospitals, and universities across the nation.

“We look forward to seeing the community come out to support not only STEM, but also to have a rollicking good time with friends and neighbors.” said Holbrooke.

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