Words by: Sammy Hemmings
Photography by: Iñaki Vinaixa Photography
In its 12th year, Sherry Wines once again hosted their search to discover America’s best sherry cocktail.
The nationwide competition showcases the versatility and diversity of sherry wine as talented bartenders compete for their drink to be named America’s ultimate sherry cocktail 2018. Competitors were asked to use sherry styles from the bodegas in Jerez in your cocktail, and it must also be currently featured on a bar / restaurant menu or bar cocktail program.
The champion won an all-expenses paid trip to the city of Jerez in Spain, the home of sherry, where they will tour bodegas and the picturesque region of Andalucía. On top of that, the winner was awarded a scholarship to the acclaimed Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) 5-day program in New York City.
There’s always insight to be gained from past successes, so have a read up on some of the previous winners below to see why these sherry based cocktails were named America’s best.
2014’s winning cocktail The Pyrenees by Lacy Hawkins
2015’s winning cocktail Broken Spanish by Pietro Collina
2016’s winning cocktail On the Vine On the Vine by Nathan O'Neill
2017’s winning cocktail Calypso Cobbler by Sam Johnson
2014's winning cocktail "The Pyrenees" by Lacy Hawkins, Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY
Coinciding with International Sherry Week, the finals took place at Clover Club in Brooklyn, New York, on 10th October. The judging panel comprised of Julie Reiner, Andy Seymour, Steven Olson, Jacques Bezuidenhout and César Saldaña.
Jarred Weigand at Death & Co., New York was crowned Best Sherry Cocktail after presenting his Strange Encounters cocktail.
2018's winning cocktail Strange Encounter by Jarred Weigand, photographed by Eric Medsker
The first runner up was Andrew Larsen, Columbia Room, Washington, DC, with his Daiquiri Bacchanal. And the second runner up was awarded to Adam George Fournier, NoMad Bar, Los Angeles with his Banana Dance cocktail. Both winners have been offered partial scholarships to the Beverage Alcohol Resource 5 Day Advanced Program.
And congratulations to all 10 finalists who made it through to the finals after tough and gruelling rounds.