The national cocktail competition was held virtually for the first time
Versailles, KY (May 17, 2021) – Woodford Reserve is proud to announce the winner of this year’s Manhattan Experience – bartender Jarret Holborough from Atlanta, GA. The national competition was held virtually for the first time, due to the global pandemic, bringing together some of the most talented mixologists from the US and Canada.
This year, the program saw hundreds of entries from around the country, who submitted their Woodford Reserve recipes to be recreated in New York and evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges, including legendary bartenders Julie Reiner, Charles Joly, and Jacques Bezuidenhout.
“Once again the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience sets the bar for creating community through a competition. Making this happen was a huge undertaking, but well worth it. The competitors really did an amazing job adapting to the digital format and were so grateful for the opportunity to carry on with the competition given all of the hardships over the year. It was great to be a part of it,” explained Bezuidenhout.
Woodford Reserve is the sponsor of Liquor.com Manhattan Experience. The competition allows mixologists to showcase their skills, as well as challenges them to delve deeper into the profile of the Manhattan and its ingredients. This national cocktail competition welcomes talented mixologists as they create their own unique twist on the classic cocktail.
Reiner adds: “The bartenders put so much effort into transporting us to their bars, and did such a great job with the digital format. The Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience is one of my favorite annual events, I am just thrilled that we were able to make it happen!”
Holborough won the title of “The Master of the Manhattan” with his classic cocktail, the Bourbon's Mad Scientist, and his original cocktail is called Tea Time in '96.
The other top five finalists, Sarah Syman (Chicago), Dannika Underhill (San Diego), Meghan Wright (Miami), Jorge Buch (Puerto Rico), Jessica Ford (Charleston) will also be awarded a cash prize as well as a trip to the Woodford Reserve Distillery as part of next year's program.
“I always look forward to being part of the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience, but this year is even a bit more special. After a long journey for the competitors and an unprecedented, difficult run for the industry, being able to come together, even if virtually, is fantastic” said Joy.