By Francine Cohen

Though Valentine’s Day is behind us (aka one of the top two busiest days in the restaurant business), almost nothing occupies our mind more than love right now.

Join Inside F&B and celebrate your love for rum by attending the first ever Brugal Rum cocktail competition, Brugal Coctel di Amor, being held on February 25th, from 1-4 p.m., at The Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY (210 Smith Street,

At The Clover Club you’ll meet the finalists who have been chosen to compete based on their cocktails which include Brugal Anejo Rum, as well as 1 ingredient that represents LOVE.

Jonathan Pogash, Brugal’s emcee for the afternoon, will introduce you personally to the 11 finalists who are: (in reverse alphabetical order because it’s about time someone at the end of the alphabet got a little love in a listing): Dimitrios Zahariadas, David Roth, Leo Robitschek, Raphael Reyes, John Pomeroy, Joe Parrilli, James Menite, Lynette Marrero, Jason Littrell, Moses Laboy, and David Clelland.

We love all 11 of the finalists and know it’s going to be hard for judges Michael Anstendig, Don Lee, and Gary Regan to pick a winner. Fortunately for them, Brugal has thoughtfully provided prizes for a first, second, and third place winner ($500, $300, and $200 accordingly). So quite a number of people get a little Brugal love.

And you get to taste some great cocktails created by The Clover Club’s bartenders as you await the results. Maybe you’ll show Brugal the love this Valentine’s Day, be inspired by one of the finalists’ drinks and put a rum concoction on your menu.

The family owned Brugal Company, from the Dominican Republic, was founded in 1888. Brugal prides itself on being the largest producer of traditionally made rum – rum aged in American white oak barrels on site in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. A proudly local spirit, Brugal is entirely produced and bottled in the Dominican Republic.