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Cocktails

Meet Our Bartender in Residence Class of 2021

June 01, 2021

Story: Punch Staff

art: Nick Hensley

Cocktails

Meet Our Bartender in Residence Class of 2021

June 01, 2021

Story: Punch Staff

art: Nick Hensley

A look into the future of bartending through the lens of nine new industry leaders.

In 2018, PUNCH launched the Bartender in Residence (BIR) program with a simple mission: Elevate and amplify rising talent in the bartending community. The program began as a series of small events held at the PUNCH test bar allowing BIR talent to connect with media, fellow bartenders and select members of the PUNCH audience in an intimate setting. What it’s evolved into is an ever-growing family of bartenders that informs the editorial vision at PUNCH and collectively pushes the industry forward. 

PUNCH Bartender in Residence Class of 2021The Class of 2021 represents a bold, grounded, creative future for bartending. Among the nine members are drink-makers for whom a position behind the bar has been a lifelong goal; for others, the allure of cocktail creation drew them away from careers in nonprofits, the arts or fashion. In almost every case, a passion for drink-making is matched by an equally strong urge to catalyze change within the industry and beyond. Among the 2021 cohort are authors and activists who leverage their front-of-house positions in service of greater representation and equality. 

Behind the bar, each member of the Class of 2021 can sling a drink as delicious as it is cleverly conceived. Within familiar blueprints, expect transportive flavors, unlikely infusions and a whole lot of personality. This is what the future of bartending looks like. 

With the generous support of The Blend, an industry platform by Beam Suntory, the 2021 Bartenders in Residence will receive a $2,000 creative development grant to assist their ongoing growth, exploration and creativity behind the bar and beyond. A special thanks to our additional partners, Fever-Tree and ReserveBar, for their support of the program, sustaining the next generation of industry leaders. Here, now, meet the Class of 2021.