Rhode Island Bartender Christina Mercado led a live cocktail demonstration on Oct. 27 as part of Speed Rack’s annual efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, part of a weeklong series of web events to benefit the Breast Cancer Relief Fund. Speed Rack is an all-female high-speed bartending competition designed to highlight up-and-coming women in the cocktail industry and give back to those impacted by breast cancer. Since its inception a decade ago, Speed Rack, founded by bartenders Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, has raised more than $1 million to date for charities supporting breast cancer research and relief. Mercado’s demo, hosted by Marrero and sponsored by Fernet-Branca, was called “New Riff’s on Old Classics.” Using Carpano vermouths and bitters, Mercado showcased her skills to deftly and creatively readapt classic recipes for the Negroni, Cosmo and Old Fashioned, offering a bit of history and mixology education alongside explanations of the flavor profile “riff” for guests who followed along via chat and on-screen. Joined by cocktail taste-tester Alexis in her kitchen, Mercado’s three cocktails were followed by a final one, the Gimlet. In keeping with the season, she created a homemade autumn syrup in advance made of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, black pepper, orange peels and a blend of coconut and muscovado sugars.