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 →
Cocktail: Sailor’s Paradise
Creative passion: Pursuing balance and sustainability in the profession of bartending
Cocktail: Imaginary Folklore
City: San Francisco
Creative passion: Exploring his Japanese heritage through storytelling
Cocktail: A Thousand Ships
City: Portland, Oregon
Creative passion: Myths and storytelling
Cocktail: In Bokeh
City: San Francisco
Creative passion: Videography
Cocktail: Inward Turn
Creative passion: Dance and wellness
Cocktail: Short Story
City: Columbus, Ohio
Creative passion: Creative writing
Cocktail: Through the Light
Creative passion: Photography
Cocktail: Oops, I Forgot My Line
Creative passion: Acting
Cocktail: Eve’s Pot Liquor
Creative passion: Community gardening
City: New York
Creative passion: Playing and mixing music
Cocktail: Rule of Thirds
City: New Orleans
Creative passion: Curating community art shows for members of the hospitality industry
Cocktail: Culture to Culture
Creative passion: Anthropology and the study of the connections behind human culture