After a nationwide search among the best amateur and professional mixologists, the online industry community has selected six semi-finalists for the National Restaurant Association’s second annual Star of the Bar competition.

The signature cocktail creators will show off their skills in a live competition at the 2011 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) on May 22 in Chicago.

The six Star of the Bar semi-finalists are:

  • Sean Connerfrom Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar in Plano, Texas, with his The Cake’s Watermelon Crush
  • Emily Georgefrom Cameron Mitchell Restaurants in Granville, Ohio, with her BeachcOmber
  • Jamie Koepplerfrom Madisons in Madison, Wisconsin, with his Femme Fatale
  • Robert Leaveyfrom The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his The Real McCoy
  • Dante LoPrestifrom Double A in Chicago, Illinois, with his The Pink Lion
  • Emilio Tiburciofrom Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his Imperial Garden

“These individuals have demonstrated remarkable creativity and skill to come up with new and exciting cocktails, which are an integral part of our industry's ongoing mission to complement restaurant meals, create customer appeal and drive traffic,” says David Gilbert, chief operating officer of the National Restaurant Association

The six semi-finalists will mix, stir and shake their signature cocktail live on the exhibit floor in front of top food and beverage industry leaders at IWSB between 12 p.m. tand 3 p.m., on Sunday, May 22.

The top three finalists, as selected by IWSB attendees, will advance to the final round of live competition at the first annual Restaurants Rock, the official NRA Show and IWSB industry celebration, that evening. The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Competitors submitted videos of themselves preparing an original signature cocktail using at least one Bacardi product (Bacardi is the sponsor of Star of the Bar). The six semi-finalists were selected by visitors to the IWSB website who voted on their favorite video.

Industry News