World's Best Mixologists Of October 2022
A growing number of mixologists worldwide are creating new cocktail recipes, and a few have garnered recognition for their efforts. This month's list of the World's Best Mixologists highlights a few who have proven to be at the forefront of cocktail culture and are enjoying a certain level of success.
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Ross Simon @drink_better grew up immersed in the world of food and drink, working in his family's restaurant since 1990. He has over three decades of experience in the beverage sector and has enjoyed mixing it up with some of the world's most famous cocktail names and brands.
He was recently honored to be a part of and one of the inaugural judges for the TAG Global Spirits Awards at the Delano Las Vegas. Ross owns and operates two cocktail bars: Bitter & Twisted, a globally recognized and award-winning cocktail bar that opened in 2014, and Little Rituals, launched in 2019.
In addition, Simon organizes the yearly Arizona Cocktail Weekend in downtown Phoenix. Lylo (2020) and Don Woods' (2021) at the Rise Uptown hotel in Phoenix, Arizona are his most recent projects and concepts.
Kaveh Zamanian - Image by Beverage Dynamics
Kaveh Zamanian @kzrabbithole is the Founder, CEO, and Whiskey Maker of Rabbit Hole. Kaveh left the profession of psychology after more than 22 years of clinical practice and academic affiliations to pursue his passion for American whiskey and craft distilling.
Rabbit Hole was formed in 2012 after several years of training under the most famous bourbon distillers. In 2014, Kaveh began distilling his bourbon and rye whiskies and opened the award-winning Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville in 2018.
He produces 1.2 million gallons of bourbon every year and, unlike any other distillery in the country, exhibits the whole process of making whiskey from grain to bottle. He is also one of the world's top 20 whiskey producers and one of the country's fastest-growing liquor brands.
She finished second with her Himiko cocktail in the 2022 Shochu Cocktail Competition at Bar Goto Niban in Brooklyn, New York. The drink contains Genmaicha (brown rice green tea) lollipop, shochu, pistachio liqueur, white vermouth, coffee gin, and melon bitters. It is named after Himiko, an old Japanese Queen who was the supreme ruler of Japan throughout her reign.
Webster always wants her cocktails to tell a story and believes that any element of cultural connection sparks a conversation and improves the customer's experience. Cultural references inspire her since they are a conscious method for connecting with her heritage.
Mariena Mercer Boarini @mariena_the_wanderlush_ began experimenting with molecular mixology in 2007. She creates multi-sensory experiences with "cham-feign" foams, edible garnishes, and liquid nitrogen flourishes.
Creating the cocktail program at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas changed the beverage industry in her hometown. Boarini is also the resort mixologist for Wynn & Encore Las Vegas and manages 31 diverse beverage programs.
She created numerous recipes and beverage concepts, including the buzz button-garnished Verbena, a top-selling specialty cocktail in Las Vegas. It has over ten million dollars in sales, despite not being listed on any menu!
Tyler Hudgens - Image by Liqpro
As a former Navy brat, Tyler Hudgens @tylerhudgens now calls Washington, D.C. her home. Before joining Liquid Productions, Hudgens managed several beverage programs on the east coast and abroad. She also previously worked as Head Bartender at The Columbia Room.
Hudgens created programming for and managed the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender engagement platform for Liquid Productions. She is well-known for her ability to organize large-scale events and her multifaceted expertise in spirits and bartender programs.
She also travels to work with BAR 5-day, Ultimate Beverage Challenge, Barsmarts, Diageo World Class, Life is Beautiful, Tales of the Cocktail, Food and Wine Festival, and The Washington Cup.
Bob Peters @bob_peters is a Charlotte native and is as unique as the drinks behind his bar. He has strong southern roots and enjoys dining and taking care of people. He is also well-known for his innovative taste and ability to amuse.
Peters has received numerous awards, including The Ritz-Carlton Corporation's 2015 Global Bartender of the Year. In the spring of 2016, he went to New York City with some of Charlotte, North Carolina's best chefs, to present a "Taste of Charlotte" dinner at the prestigious James Beard House.
In addition, he was a featured mixologist at the highly regarded Cayman Cookout food festival, Charleston Wine & Food Festival, and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
John Henderson @highball.hendo is a Northeastern University alumnus and double-major in Biology and Art. But he has been mixing drinks with an analytical and artistic approach since stepping behind the bar in 2009.
Henderson exhibited a passion for crafting drinks to help pay for college and swiftly worked his way up the industry ranks. And today, he is acknowledged as one of the country's new generation of notable bartenders.
He has competed in several bartending competitions, including Drambuie's Nail or Fail 2012, Barenjager National Bartender competition 2012, Tequila Ocho's Viva Sangrita 2013, and Diageo World Class US 2013 and 2014.
His work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Stuff@Night, The Forward, SeriousEats, The Daily Meal, DuJour.com, Men's Health, and many other national publications.
Charles Joly @charlesjoly works as a bartender and mixologist in Chicago. He is the mastermind behind some of the world's best cocktail lounges, and his most recent establishment was recognized with the culinary industry's highest honor, the James Beard Award.
Among his many accomplishments is being the first American to hold the title of Global Bartending Champion, which he won in 2014 by beating out competitors from more than 50 countries. He is widely regarded as an innovator in cocktail making, winning the title of "Top American Bartender" twice.
In addition to creating Crafthouse, Charles now travels the world giving seminars on spirits and cocktails. The Today Show, Rachel Ray, Steve Harvey, The New York Times, and countless others featured him as a guest expert.
Bartender, author, and entrepreneur Julia Momosé @momose_julia is the brains behind Chicago's celebrated Japanese dining bar Kumiko. Her innovative take on cocktails and spirit-free drinks has earned her recognition from Time, Food & Wine and a spot on the 50 Best Bars in the World.
As head bartender from 2015 to 2017, Momosé founded and led Green River Restaurant and Bar's beverage program. She was in charge of multiple menus across three places and staff training on cocktails and spirits.
Momosé was honored with the Michelin Guide's Exceptional Cocktails Award in Chicago in 2022. And she helped the Green River receive its first Michelin star during her tenure.
Katrina Sobredilla @katvan25 embraces the power and art of hand-crafted cocktails. She works as a mixologist at 8282, a modern Korean restaurant in New York.
Katrina uses natural ingredients that promote body wellness, such as aloe vera, blackberry hongchu, and sugar snap peas. Everything in 8282's menu is made from scratch, from schnapps and bitters to triple sec.
Some of Katrina's cocktail creations include Tea Party, Secret Garden Tea Party, and Yuja Pear Tequila Perilla. She also makes non-alcoholic drinks like Plum Persimmon Hongcho, Korean Blackberry Hongcho, and teas like Brown Rice Green Tea and Corn Silk Tea.
It's hard to believe that we're already in the latter half of October, but with Halloween just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your holiday party plans! If you're looking for inspiration, check out our world's best mixologist line-up and consider visiting some of their establishments.
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