Atlanta LGBT and ally bartenders, it’s time to mix up that Manhattan and revamp the Old Fashioned: the fourth annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic is coming.
The Cocktail Classic is the “world’s largest annual LGBT bartending competition, beginning with regional qualifying events in cities around the US and Canada.
Interested 21-and-over bartenders can apply online and must submit not only their vitals, but a biography, photo, video and presentation theme. Up to six bartenders will be selected to compete at each qualifying event. Last year’s Atlanta winner was Thuy Nguyen of F.R.O.G.S., who competed with her “The Gogo Juice” recipe.
This year’s regional winners will go on to compete in Key West, including an all-expense paid, five-night trip and national challenge. The national winner will be an honorary grand marshall in the Key West 2017 Pride Parade on June 11, and will also take home $12,500 for charity. In addition, the national winner gets a second trip to a surprise destination for an exclusive Stoli weekend event.
Bartenders are judged on their presentation theme, knowledge of host city Key West, incorporating LGBT history, use of a Stoli vodka product in their cocktail and overall showmanship. The cocktails themselves are judged on appearance, garnish, aroma, flavor and balance. The bartender with the highest combined score of all judges plus audience votes will go on to compete at the national event.
Atlanta’s judges are reigning champion Nguyen; One Flew South mixologist Tiffany Barriere, “American Idol” finalist LaToya London and Georgia Voice Editor Patrick Saunders.