Cocktails

Meet the Most Imaginative Bartender National Finalists

November 18, 2019

Story: Punch Staff

Photo: Lindsey Grace Whiddon

Cocktails

Meet the Most Imaginative Bartender National Finalists

November 18, 2019

Story:

Art: Lindsey Grace Whiddon

The 12 competitors from the U.S. and Canada advancing to the Most Imaginative Bartender national finals in 2020.

We are thrilled to announce the 12 bartenders from the U.S. and Canada who will be advancing to the national finals of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin.

In three riveting days of competition in Portland, Oregon (West), Nashville, Tennessee (Central) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (East), 36 bartenders selected by special committee presented their cocktails to a panel of judges. Each bartender channeled their creativity with a cocktail that was inspired by their passions—from community gardens to photography—beyond the bar.

In all cities, presenting bartenders and their cocktails were judged by Dr. Anne Brock, the master distiller for Bombay Gin. In Portland, she was joined by Sandy De Almeida (Toronto) and Abigail Gullo (Seattle); in Nashville by Jackie Summers (New York) and Ran Duan (Boston); and in Philadelphia by Justin Lavenue (Austin) and Ms. Franky Marshall (New York).

In October, finalists will travel to Laverstoke, England, to tour the distillery and experience the home of Bombay Gin. And in February 2020, the 12 finalists from the U.S. and Canada will meet in Chicago to compete head-to-head for the title of Most Imaginative Bartender. In addition to national recognition for their cocktail, the winning bartender will also receive a $25,000 Creative Grant Prize to bring their creative project to life and a $10,000 cash award.

Over the next few months, we’ll be following along on their journey, but for now, we wish them the best of luck.

MEET THE FINALISTS →

WEST

Photos: KLiK Concepts
ALEX JUMP

Cocktail: Sailor’s Paradise
City: Denver
Creative passion: Pursuing balance and sustainability in the profession of bartending

Photos: KLiK Concepts
CHRISTIAN SUZUKI

Cocktail: Imaginary Folklore
City: San Francisco
Creative passion: Exploring his Japanese heritage through storytelling

Photos: KLiK Concepts
JAMIE SOCCI

Cocktail: A Thousand Ships
City: Portland, Oregon
Creative passion: Myths and storytelling

Photos: KLiK Concepts
EMILIO SALEHI

Cocktail: In Bokeh
City: San Francisco
Creative passion: Videography

CENTRAL

MARTA ESS

Cocktail: Inward Turn
City: Toronto
Creative passion: Dance and wellness

DAVID YEE

Cocktail: Short Story
City: Columbus, Ohio
Creative passion: Creative writing

VALENTINO LONGO

Cocktail: Through the Light
City: Miami
Creative passion: Photography

NIKOLAS ZOYLINOS

Cocktail: Oops, I Forgot My Line
City: Austin
Creative passion: Acting

EAST

Photos: Eric Medsker
KEYATTA MINCEY-PARKER

Cocktail: Eve’s Pot Liquor
City: Atlanta
Creative passion: Community gardening

Photos: Eric Medsker
MARK TUBRIDY

Cocktail: Songbird
City: New York
Creative passion: Playing and mixing music

Photos: Eric Medsker
MAGGIE MORGAN

Cocktail: Rule of Thirds
City: New Orleans
Creative passion: Curating community art shows for members of the hospitality industry

Photos: Eric Medsker
DEREK STILMANN

Cocktail: Culture to Culture
City: Miami
Creative passion: Anthropology and the study of the connections behind human culture

Related Articles