January 18, 2013 After narrowing the field from 28 to four, the high-scoring favorites of the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s Official Mixologist Competition battled for top honors Thursday night. Held at The Alley, the invitation-only event featured finalists Hallie Arnold of The Grocery, Evan Powell of Republic Reign, Joe Raya of The Gin Joint and Justin Simko of The Bar at Husk. All the competitors were required to utilize one of William Grant & Sons’ Art in the Age spirits – Root, Snap or Rhubarb Tea – in an original cocktail. Guest votes were tallied along with votes from a panel of judges to determine the overall winner, whose cocktail will be featured as the signature drink at the Feb. 28 Opening Night Party: Salute to Charleston’s Chefs. For those who didn’t garner an invite, you can catch a re-match at the Culinary Institute of Charleston presents Iron Mixologist: Charleston event at 4 p.m. March 2. The BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival runs Feb. 28-March 3.