The National Restaurant Association invites professional mixologists to show off their most creative cocktail talents using American Harvest Organic Vodka to vie for the sought-after title of Star of the Bar. The competition, which features a $5,000 cash prize, will take place at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) at NRA Show 2013 with the winner being selected at the Restaurants Rock party May 19 with special guest judges, master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim and celebrity chef, personality, and culinary author Anthony Bourdain.

Held at Chicago’s McCormick Place May 19-20, IWSB is the only forum in the world focused exclusively on the role of beverage alcohol in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

“The Star of the Bar competition is an exciting way for mixologists to test their skills against each other to see who can shake, stir, and muddle the most imaginative and marketable cocktail of the year,” says Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. “The competition is judged by both the public and industry peers so it allows mixologists passionate about crafting cocktails their time in the spotlight.”

Five of the six semifinalists will be determined by an IWSB panel of judges, with the sixth picked by the general public as the “people’s choice” contender, which will be determined through online voting from April 22-24. All six semifinalists will be flown to Chicago to demonstrate their cocktail live on the exhibit floor in front of top food and beverage industry leaders at IWSB on May 19.

IWSB attendees will narrow the field down to the top three Star of the Bar finalists, who will then advance to the final live competition to be judged by Tony Abou-Ganim, Anthony Bourdain, and Todd Richman, Corporate Mixologist, Sidney Frank Importing Company at Restaurants Rock, the official party of IWSB and NRA Show.

Interested individuals who would like a shot at the title, a trip to Chicago to demonstrate their skills at IWSB, as well as a chance at the $5,000 prize should complete the following:

  • Design a signature cocktail recipe that prominently features American Harvest Organic Vodka.
  • Create a video no more than two minutes long, describing and mixing the drink, and upload it to YouTube.
  • Submit the entry form online by April 19, including a link to the video in the recipe instructions. 

Now celebrating its sixth year, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event is co-located within the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. IWSB features domestic and international brewers, distillers, and vintners showcasing hundreds of established and emerging labels, beverage alcohol-focused, industry expert-led education sessions, hands-on demonstrations, dynamic mixology competition, and access to professionally paired menu items from local Chicago restaurants.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2013 will be held May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2013 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 19-20. The events attract 61,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, and up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues.

Industry News, Marketing & Promotions, National Restaurant Association