The National Restaurant Association announced the six finalists of the 2016 Regional Star of the Bar Market Challenge, who will compete in the upcoming Star of the Bar Finals at BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) as part of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Taking place at Chicago’s McCormick Place on May 22, the finals will be emceed by Spike TV’s Bar Rescue Host and Executive Producer Jon Taffer, with a panel of judges selecting the overall winner of the annual mixology competition.

This national cocktail competition invites six finalists from leading culinary cities—including Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Charleston, New York City, and San Francisco—to mix up the most innovative cocktail creation using Jägermeister, exclusively imported and distributed in the U.S. by Star of the Bar sponsor Sidney Frank Importing Company. Finalists from each market are flown to Chicago to face off in a live event on the 2016 NRA Show floor for a chance to win the coveted Star of the Bar title and $5,000 grand prize.

The annual Star of the Bar regional competition series kicked off in Chicago on February 29 at Gallery at GreenRiver, with regional competitions concluding this week at Twenty Five Lusk in San Francisco. The complete list of regional finalists competing for the overall Star of the Bar title at the NRA Show this May include:

Chicago Finalist: Carlos Cuarta

Restaurant/Bar: 90 Miles Cuban Café

Winning cocktail: "Curt's Summer Dram," a complex cocktail created with Jägermeister, rum, passion fruit, lemon juice, and bitters. 

San Diego Finalist: Brian Prugalidad

Restaurant/Bar: Bracero Cocina

Winning cocktail: “Finishing Move: Serious, Serious Punch,” a complex cocktail using pineapple, pisco, bitters, and cinnamon bark syrup to complement the Jägermeister.

Boston Finalist: Tenzin Samdo

Restaurant/Bar: Trade-Boston

Winning cocktail: "56 Secret Admirers," a mix of Jägermeister, mezcal, ginger beer, bitters, and candied ginger. 

Charleston Finalist: Teddy Nixon

Restaurant/Bar: Bar Mash

Winning cocktail: "Day Tripper," a tropical blend of toasted coconut pineapple rum, pineapple juice, lime, orgeat, peychaud bitters, and absinthe along with Jägermeister.

New York Finalist: Matt Friedlander

Restaurant/Bar: Fools Gold NYC

Winning cocktail: "Any Which Way But Left," blending Jägermeister with aperol, amaro, molé bitters, and a grapefruit peel garnish.

San Francisco Finalist: Baron Stelling

Place of work: Paragary’s Midtown and The Shady Lady Saloon

Winning cocktail: "The Stag Savior," blending Jägermeister with gin, lime juice, grenadine, and apricot liquor, topped with dashes of bitters and absinthe.

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