Dishcrawl is starting a war that should be far from hell. Cocktail Wars comes to San Jose December 10, pitting South Bay mixologists against each other for a spot in a national cocktail competition.

Downtown San Jose’s Blackbird Tavern will be the scene of the throwdown. Many may enter, but only five bartenders will leave victorious, bound for a bout in the North American Spirits Championship against the top Cocktail Wars competitors from nine other cities around the U.S.

On the line? Bragging rights for Best Cocktail, Most Creative, Best Tasting and Best Presentation.

Guests at the December 10 event will vote in these categories, aided by a tasting menu that showcases each competitor’s specialty. Celebrity judges will be on hand to weigh in as well.

Admission is $10, with cocktails priced at $8 each.

And all this sipping will not only determine which bartenders should be sent to defend local pride, but it’s also for a good cause. The event raises money for Silicon Valley Creates (formerly Arts Council Silicon Valley), which supports the local arts scene with artist grants and arts education programs.

Later this month, Dishcrawl will announce the San Jose Cocktail Wars competitors at