BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin Kicks Off 10th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender Competition

BOMBAY SAPPHIREGin kicks-off the regional finale events of the 10th Annual BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Most Imaginative Bartender(MIB) Competition. Each regional competition will take place in major cities across North America – including TorontoNew York CityMiami, Austin, Las VegasChicagoLos AngelesSeattleNew Orleans, and Detroit – where the semi-finalists will vie to win a spot in the Top 10, representing their hometown. This year, each of the 100 semi-finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their artistry in a personal way, stepping out from behind the bar to share the story around their cocktails, to make a memorable first impression on the esteemed panel of judges. Guests at the events will be able to witness the artistry of the nation’s brightest bartenders while also experiencing MIB’s past competitors’ creations. The competition will showcase an art studio featuring paintings of the previous 9 winning cocktails created from paints crafted from ingredients used in their winning drinks.

For the first time this August, in honor of MIB’s 10th Anniversary, the Top 10 finalists will travel to London – the home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and its new Laverstoke Distillery – to vie for the 2016 North American title. Upon arrival, the 10 finalists will be greeted with hand-painted works of art of their own winning cocktail alongside the past nine MIB winners’ paintings in an exclusive “10 years, 10 Cocktails Exhibit”.  Another first for this year, the Grand Prize winner will receive a trip to Tuscany to learn about the selection of 10 exotic botanicals that make up BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. He/she will also be featured on a special edition cover of GQ Magazine‘s December Men of the Year issue.

“As we kick off the 10th Anniversary of the Most Imaginative Bartender competition, it’s thrilling to reflect on the innovation and artistry that each year brings,” says Ned Duggan, VP, Managing Director for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. “This year’s regional finals will not only highlight the participating bartenders’ talents, but it will also celebrate the winning creations from the past 9 years through reimagined works of art. Making the most of this moment is crucial in order to move onto the finals in London. I wish all the participants the best of luck over the next few months and look forward to seeing the Top 10 regional finalists’ creations across the pond this fall!”

Since inception, the MIB Competition has worked with bartenders who have gone on to further their careers and be known as some of the top bartending talent across the country today. Since winning the 2015 North American MIB title, Justin Lavenue has since expanded his own cocktail bar in Austin into one of the city’s hottest accounts. That same year Justin was named Food & Wine‘s Best New Mixologist and Eater’s 2015 Bartender of the Year. 2014 winner Ran Duan transformed his family-owned business – a traditional mom and pop Chinese restaurant just outside of Boston – into one of the most talked about cocktail bars in the nation in the wake of his victory.

Defending champion Justin Lavenue shared a few words of inspiration for this year’s contestants: “It’s a game-changing experience to compete against some of the best bartenders in the country, and in an event of this magnitude. Bombay Sapphire offers the chance to connect with hundreds of like-minded peers, which allows you to witness infinite possibilities of imagination. I can’t wait to see what everyone has in store for the competition in its 10th anniversary.”

Top 100 Semi-Finalists:

  1. Atlanta – Trip Sandifer
  2. Atlanta – Joseph Haywood
  3. Atlanta – Jeff Banks
  4. Austin – Madelyn Kay
  5. Austin – Irene Jeanotte
  6. Austin – Alexis Mijares
  7. Berkley – Kyle Tran
  8. Boston – Eric Gurry
  9. Boston – Schuyler Hunton
  10. Calgary – Dominik Aschauer
  11. Calgary- Samantha Casuga
  12. Charleston – Cody Henson
  13. Charleston – Jeremiah Schenezel
  14. Chicago – Brock Schulte
  15. Chicago – Elizbaeth Mickiewicz
  16. Chicago – Julia Momose
  17. Chicago – Daniel Rook
  18. Cleveland – Sean Zawadzki
  19. Cleveland – Lorelei Bailey
  20. Columbus – Alex Chien
  21. Columbus – James Moore
  22. Columbus – Ben Griest
  23. Conneticut – Dimitrios Zahardis
  24. Dallas – Austin Gurley
  25. Dallas – Phillip Smith
  26. Dallas – Fernanda Rossano
  27. Denver – Tacy Rowland
  28. Denver – Stuart Jensen
  29. Denver – Austin Carson
  30. Detroit – David Martinez
  31. Detroit – Joe Robinson
  32. Detroit – Dorothy Elizabeth Doughty
  33. Hawaii – To Be Confirmed
  34. Houston – Chris Morris
  35. Houston – Justin Ware
  36. Houston – Rebecca Burkart
  37. Indianapolis – Michael Madison
  38. Indianapolis – Michael Toscano
  39. Las Vegas – Juyoung Kang
  40. Las Vegas – Cody Fredrickson
  41. Las Vegas – Roger Gillespie
  42. Las Vegas – Julian Luna
  43. Los Angeles – Daniel Sabo
  44. Los Angeles – William Perbellini
  45. Los Angeles – Bryan Wilson
  46. Los Angeles – Shannon Stiggins
  47. Los Angeles – George Fournier
  48. Los Angeles – Brad Fry
  49. Miami – Daniel Villa
  50. Miami – Phil Khanderish
  51. Miami – Bill Thompson
  52. Miami – Will Rivas
  53. Miami – Nick Mantzaridis
  54. Milwaukee – Sheila Amdt
  55. Milwaukee – Ed Hong
  56. Minneapolis – Nathaniel Smith
  57. Minneapolis – Kate Christianson
  58. Minneapolis – Jeffrey Fricke
  59. Minneapolis – Scott Crawford
  60. Montreal – Samuel Trudeau
  61. Montreal – Kate Boushel
  62. Nashville – Freddy Schwank
  63. Nashville – Carly Gaskin
  64. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  65. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  66. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  67. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  68. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  69. National Accounts – To Be Confirmed
  70. New Mexico – Tom Street
  71. New Orleans – Star Hodgson
  72. New Orleans – Johnathan Shock
  73. New Orleans – Konrad Kantor
  74. New York City – Hemant Pathak
  75. New York City – Matt Chavez
  76. New York City – Luiz Hernandez
  77. New York City – Channing Centeno
  78. Philadelphia – Ben Hash
  79. Phoenix – Matthew Martinez
  80. Phoenix – Donna Francis
  81. Portland – Tanis Orona
  82. Portland – David Shenaut
  83. Portland – Cassandra Ericson
  84. San Antonio – Andy Hack
  85. San Diego – Mike West
  86. San Diego – Mike Yen
  87. San Francisco – Mitchell Lagneaux
  88. San Francisco – Andrew Meltzer
  89. San Francisco – Julie Anderson
  90. Seattle – Ryan Lobe
  91. Seattle – Cameron George
  92. Seattle – Andrew Dalan
  93. Tampa Bay – Ryan Brown
  94. Tampa Bay – Brenda Terry
  95. Toronto – Chantelle Gabino
  96. Toronto – Orlando Carreira
  97. Vancouver – Aimee Corno
  98. Vancouver – Luke O’Toole
  99. Washington D.C – Lukas Smith
  100. Washington D.C – Morgan Stana

For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com.