Announcing the U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition 2015 Finalists

28 September 2015

Congratulations are in order as the field has been narrowed to 10 finalists in the 2015 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:

  • Jonathan Buonomo, Straight Law Bar, at Taberna de Haro, Brookline, MA - The Sour of Amontillado (Amontillado)
  • Jack Cholin, Local Edition, San Francisco, CA - La Frontera (Amontillado)
  • Pietro Collina, The NoMad, New York, NY - Broken Spanish (Fino)
  • Yanni Kehagiaras, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA - Castaway (Manzanilla)
  • Jessica Lambert, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago, IL - Que Buena Pinta (Amontillado, Oloroso)
  • Michael Maller, Mateo, Durham, NC - Perfect Circle (Oloroso, Moscatel)
  • Christine Jeanine Nielsen, Angeline, New Orleans, LA - The Right Side of Jackson (Fino)
  • Shannon Ponche, Leyenda, Brooklyn, NY - Show Me Shandy (Manzanilla, Fino)
  • Annemarie Sagoi, The Drifter, Chicago, IL - Stranger Danger (Manzanilla)
  • Jenn Tosatto, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, Kansas City, MO - The Night Breed (Amontillado)

The finalists will compete in the live finals on Monday, October 5th starting at 11:30am 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!

Celebrating it's 10th anniversary, 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 BAR®, Julie Reiner, Proprietor, Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club; Jacques Bezuidenhout, Winner of the first Sherry Cocktail Competition in 2005 and Partner, Forgery in San Francisco; Andy Seymour, Liquid Productions, Sherry Ambassador, (BAR)® partner; 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; as well as a video demonstration of the exact preparation method and steps of assembly; and they need to describe the perfect food match, and explain why it would work so well.

Immediately following the competition, the winners will be announced.  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

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of El Consejo Regulador.
Official US office representing Sherry Wines. Love Sherry? Us too. Local news, tastings, cocktails & food, everything is better with Sherry, Salúd!

Latest News