Who Will Be Named the 2015 U.S. Bartender of the Year?
Next week, the country’s top bartenders will compete in the most prestigious bartending competition of the year — Diageo World Class U.S. National Finals. The fourth World Class U.S. competition drew in hundreds of applicants, with 75 finalists selected to compete regionally. Now, there are just fifteen left that will shake, stir and perform their best in hopes of being named “U.S. Bartender of the Year.”
Over three days, the national finalists will compete in five rigorous challenges for global industry icons including master mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim; beverage expert, Steve Olson; award-winning bartender, Jim Meehan; James Beard Nominee, Julie Reiner; National President of the USBG, Dave Nepove and 2014 World Class Bartender of the Year, Charles Joly.
- Ode to the Windy City: Upon landing in Chicago, competitors must create an Ode to the Windy City cocktail along with two classics.
- Sensorium: Here charm and performance are key. This challenge tests competitor’s ability to create a memorable guest experience that appeals to all of the senses from your nose to your toes.
- The Tasting Menu: Forget wine. This challenge pushes competitors to create THE perfect food and cocktail pairing.
- Local Goes Global: Earlier in the day, competitors will be taken to the Chicago market and have 45 minutes to buy all the ingredients to make two Ketel One cocktails. In celebration of Ketel One Vodka’s 325th Anniversary, competitors must present two cocktails that take inspiration from environments outside of their country and feature the flavors of the market produce.
- Cocktails Against the Clock: Time to cheer! Barmen will wow the crowd with speed, creativity and grace under pressure, creating six cocktail in just eight minutes.