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I.  Bodega Bar Setup

For this challenge, we'll be referring to your bar as a "bodega bar" which is bar height and approximately six feet wide.

Service:  Then challenge here is to dress your "bodega bar" with decor appropriate to your menu and theme.  Think of how you would attract potential guests to your bar with your decor.  Use music if you'd like.  Bring your own plants.  Maybe bring a piece of your home bar to the competition to lend it your personality.

You will have fifteen minutes to set up the bar and fifteen minutes to break it down, this will be timed.  Work with your chosen barback to ensure timeliness of this task.

Judges:  Judges will grade on creativity of decor and its connection to your menu's theme.


II. Menu (physical)

Service:  Bartenders are challenged to create a physical menu.  This is your chance to build a brand, come up with a theme and let your most creative juices flow.  

Judges:  Judges will grade menus on theme, creativity and aesthetic


II. Cocktail Program

This is the most important part of the competition.  There are two ingredients that must be incorporated into your menu.  Ketel One (base or any flavor) and Lustau Sherry.  They can be in the same cocktail or in separate cocktails

Service:  You will execute your three cocktail menu for judges.

Judges:  This is a challenge of speed and skill. Free-style ingenuity and showmanship allow you to demonstrate how well you perform under pressure.

  • This Challenge is designed to test your ability to put together a round of drinks quickly and efficiently without sacrificing the taste and quality of the drinks.

  • You will have ten minutes to make a round of your cocktails with emphasis on technique, variety, and fluency.  Interpretation of your version and style of cocktail will be left to the sole discretion of the judges.

  • Each cocktail recipe must use at least 1 oz of a Diageo Reserve brand.

  • Your selection of drinks should display a variety of basic cocktail making skills and most importantly your ability to put together the round in order to maximize the speed of service and the quality of the drinks. You are allowed to make the drinks with the measures that you are most familiar.

  • During the orientation, you will have an opportunity to look at the bar and familiarize yourself with the layout. The bar station will have a speed rail available for your use.

  • While you are preparing the cocktails, presentation points will be awarded for the Finalists’ ability to be engaging and efficient/neat. Interaction with the judges will be expected.


Challenge Guidelines

  • The exact judging and run of competition will be given to you the day of.

  • You are allowed to place the tools, bottles and fresh fruit in any order. You are allowed to use speed pours.

  • During the prep time, you are not allowed to place any ice into glasses, mixing glasses or shakers. You are not allowed to pre-pour any liquids at all. You are not even allowed to uncap a soda bottle.  Please see “GARNISHES” sections for clarification on garnishes.

  • If you break any of the setup guidelines you lose five (1) points per infraction.

  • You are timed from the moment you start making the first drink until you choose to stop making cocktails or the time is finished. You may not enter any cocktail for judging once the clock stops. 

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