New York, October 12, 2016 – The Sherry Cocktail Competition finals were held on October 4th at Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY, and Nathan O'Neill of The Nomad Bar in New York City won the top prize of Best Sherry Cocktail with his cocktail, On the Vine!
O'Neill competed against some of the top bartenders in America, from 8 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; 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 was at the highest level in the history of the competition. 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 — "On the "Vine" by Nathan O'Neill, The Nomad Bar in New York, NY
First Runner Up — "La Sucia" by Alexandra Jump, Easy Bistro & Bar, Chattanooga, TN
Second Runner Up — "Antiguo Amigo" by Jon Nutter, ABC Kitchen in New York, NY
As the champion, Nathan O'Neill has earned a spot on on Steve Olson’s annual sommelier/chef/bartender journey through Jerez, Spain. As the first and second place winners, Alexandra Jump and Jon Nutter will receive a partial scholarship to Beverage Alcohol Resource® 5 Day Advanced Program.
The other winners / finalists were:
Jim Cunningham, Prado in Scottsdale, AZ - "El Cid" (Oloroso)
Sarah Morrissey, Dear Irving in New York, NY - "The Taun Taun" (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)
Additional photos of the competition and cocktails are available upon request.
For more information, contact Kate Burgess.
*due to a scheduling conflict, Ezra Star was unable to compete live.
12 October 2016