The results of the 2015 U.S. Sherry Cocktail Competition

06 October 2015

New York, October 6, 2015 – The Sherry Cocktail Competition finals were held on October 5th at Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY, and Pietro Collina of The NoMad Hotel in New York City won the top prize of Best Sherry Cocktail with his cocktail, Broken Spanish!

Collina competed against some of the top bartenders in America, from 7 states, during a live demonstration and presentation in front of a distinguished panel of judges, which included 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)®; and special guest judge the Director of the Consejo Regulador of the DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda, César Saldaña.

All contestants were indeed winners and deserve recognition by virtue of being selected as finalists in this competition, which received more applicants nationwide than ever before.  Each made it through a grueling and highly competitive preliminary judging round that preceded the final competition, and then competed at a level so incredibly high that the winner’s cocktails were separated by the narrowest of margins.  

The winners were announced immediately following the competition:
Best Sherry Cocktail — Broken Spanish by Pietro Collina, The NoMad Hotel, New York, NY
First Runner Up — Que Buena Pinta by Jessica Lambert, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago, IL
Second Runner Up — The Castaway by Yanni Kehagiaras, Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the competition, all three of the top finalists earned a spot on on Steve Olson’s annual sommelier/chef/bartender journey through Jerez, Spain.  As the first place winner, Pietro Collina also earned a full scholarship to Beverage Alcohol Resource® 5 Day Advanced Program and the honor of having his cocktail as the official cocktail of the International Sherry Sherry.  The First Runner Up, Jessica Lambert from Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago has also earned a full scholarship to Beverage Alcohol Resource® 5 Day Advanced Program.

The other winners / finalists were:

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)
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)

Additional photos of the competition and cocktails are available upon request.
For more information, contact Kate Burgess.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of El Consejo Regulador.
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