Announcing the 2017 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition Finalists

Published 12.10.2017   by SHERRY WINES U.S.   @SherryWinesUS
Congratulations to our 2017 finalists!

Congratulations are in order as the field has been narrowed to 10 finalists in the 2017 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition in what has already been the tightest race in the history of the competition. Entries came in from all across the country from some of the best cocktail bars and restaurants operating today. Our incredible finalists are:

  • Anthony Belculfini, Taberna de Haro in Brookline, MA - "The CriaDare" (Manzanilla, Oloroso, Moscatel)
  • Guillermo Bravo, The NoMad Bar in New York, NY - "Verano Verde" (Fino, Amontillado)
  • Gabriela Chan, Forgery in San Francisco, CA - "Shy Smile" (Palo Cortado)
  • Suzanne Critchlow, Columbia Room in Washington, DC - "Salted Fino Rickey" (Fino)
  • Jesse Cyr, Rob Roy in Seattle, WA - "Look My Way" (Amontillado)
  • Phoebe Esmon, Cúrate in Asheville, NC - "El Periodo Rosa" (Manzanilla)
  • Leanne Favre, Mayahuel in New York, NY - "Sage Ya Later" (Manzanilla, Oloroso)
  • McLain Hedges, RiNo Yacht Club in Denver, CO - "The Rossonian Standard" (Manzanilla)
  • Sam Johnson, Leyenda in New York, NY - "Calypso Cobbler" (Amontillado, Manzanilla)
  • Brendan Town, Bon Ton in Atlanta, GA - "The Old Ward" (Oloroso, Manzanilla, Pedro Ximénez)

Our finalists will compete in the live finals on Monday, October 30th starting at 12:00 PM at Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY, to determine who will be crowned the winner of this year's America’s Best Sherry Cocktail.  If you're in New York City, you won't want to miss the chance to see these fine bartenders compete!

The Sherry Cocktail Competition is a nationwide event featuring bartenders and mixologists from all across the country who have been challenged to create the best Sherry cocktail in America. This competition was created to showcase the incredible diversity of Sherry wine, it's remarkable use as an ingredient in cocktails, and it's ability to match with food. Each entrant's cocktail had to be featured on a working, existing restaurant or bar cocktail program, and could be made with any style of Sherry, coming from any bodega in Jerez, Spain.

During a live demonstration and presentation they will make their cocktail in front of the distinguished panel of judges, which will include Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail/author, founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR)®, Julie Reiner, proprietor, Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club; David Wondrich, author, cocktail historian, founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR)®; Jacques Bezuidenhout, winner of the first Sherry Cocktail Competition in 2005 and partner, Forgery and Wildhawk, both in San Francisco; Steven Olson, aka maguey geek, and founding partner of BAR®; as well as special guest judge, the director of the Consejo Regulador himself, César Saldaña, who will be visiting here from Spain.

In addition to making their drink, each finalist has to provide a written and verbal explanation of: why their cocktail is great; when is the best time to serve it, why, and how; the precise recipe, proper garnish and ideal glass; and the perfect food match, including why it would work so well.  Each was also asked to submit a video demonstration of the exact preparation method and steps of assembly, along with their justifications outlined previously.

The winners will be announced immediately following the competition.  An all-expense paid trip to Jerez and a scholarship to the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) Advanced 5-Day Program are at stake!

For more information, contact Kate Burgess at

Sherry Wines U.S. @SherryWinesUS
Official US office representing Sherry Wines. Love Sherry? Us too. Local news, tastings, cocktails & food, everything is better with Sherry, Salúd!
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