Sherry Wine News

Announcing the 2016 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition Finalists

Congratulations to our finalists!

Congratulations are in order as the field has been narrowed to 10 finalists in the 2016 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition in what was one of the tightest races 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:

  • Jim Cunningham, Prado in Scottsdale, AZ - "El Cid" (Oloroso)
  • Alexandra Jump, Easy Bistro & Bar, Chattanooga, TN - "La Sucia" (Fino)
  • Nathan McCarley-O'Neill, The Nomad Bar in New York, NY - "On the "Vine" (Fino & Amontillado)
  • Sarah Morrissey, Dear Irving in New York, NY - "The Taun Taun" (Amontillado)
  • Jon Nutter, ABC Kitchen in New York, NY - "Antiguo Amigo" (Amontillado)
  • Meagan Schmoll, Tupelo Grille in Whitefish, MT - "The Bolero" (Amontillado & Manzanilla)
  • Jonathan Shock, Catahoula Hotel in New Orleans, LA - "Coolest Kid in Class" (Manzanilla)
  • Ezra Star, Drink in Boston, MA - "Canela de Jerez" (Palo Cortado)*
  • Chris Tucker, Hook & Ladder in Sacramento, CA - "El Principio y El Fin" (Fino & Moscatel)
  • Allison Widdecombe, Williams & Graham in Denver, CO - "Through the Looking Glass" (Manzanilla)

The finalists will compete in the live finals on Tuesday, October 4th 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 competition featuring bartenders/mixologists from across the country, who are challenged to create the best Sherry Cocktail in America.  It was created to showcase the incredible diversity of Sherry wine, and its remarkable ability for use in cocktails and matching with food.  Each contestant'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. Each finalist was chosen from a pool of entries coming from all corners of the country.  

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; Steven Olson, aka wine 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

*Please note that due to a scheduling conflict, Ezra Star will be unable to compete in the live finals.

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Sherry Wines U.S.
Official US office representing Sherry Wines. Love Sherry? Us too. Local news, tastings, cocktails & food, everything is better with Sherry, Salúd!
Sherry Wines U.S. @SherryWinesUS
27 September 2016
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