List of Semi-finalists for 2018 #TheTenzingCoupe Cocktail competition.

Congratulations to the 40 Semi-finalists of The Tenzing Coupe Cocktail Competition. This year there were over 200 submissions. Small Talk Hospitality, which is officiating the competition, reviewed every cocktail recipe and have confirmed the semi-finalists. 

This Monday, September 24th the following bartenders will recreate their cocktails and submit to an expert group of judges from the industry. 

1.     Nigal Vann - Apogee
“When September Ends”

2.     Zachary Blazek - Virgin Hotels Chicago

3.     Patrick Smith - The Violet Hour
“Hillbilly Reviver”

4.     Marco Montaguano - Drew’s on Halstead

5.     Monica Marie Sandoval - Margeaux Brasserie
“The French Revision”

6.     Gamble Scrantom - Bar Biscay
“The Last Hurrah”

7.     Molly Pachay - Fat Rice
“The Purple Moon Shines Over Cusco”

8.     Genna Baronne - Saba Italian Bar and Kitchen
“The Jungle Queen”

9.     Jeremy Owen Barrett - Billy Sunday
“Members Only”

10.  Patrick Heneghan - Shaw’s Crab House | Roka Akor
“What’s Up Doc?”

11.  Jarmel C. Doss - The Aviary
“Fizzing Around the World”

12.  Eric McMillan - The Oasis
“After Geography”

13.  Natalie Georgette Smyth - Untitled Supper Club
“The Definition of a Nitecap”

14.  Chelsea Nwankpa - Blackbird | Blind Barber | Ace Hotel
“Floral Compass”

15.  Sean Gunderson - Mino’s Italian
“Essenza Di Blush”

16.  David Mor - Cindy’s

17.  James Urycki - Travelle at The Langham Chicago
“One Night in Guadalajara”

18.  Vinny Starble - Bad Hunter

19.  Luke Mockaitis - Ballast Point Brewery
“Grass Eater”

20.  Chris Litten - The Aviary
“The Donkey Mekong”

21.  Ed Hong - Cindy’s | Maple & Ash
“Coffey Crush”

22.  Nicole Alonso - Margeaux Brasserie
“Cafe Creole”

23.  Richard Beltzer- Bad Hunter

“Canne and Able”

24.  Jen McNulty - Old Irving Brewing Co.
“Night Music”

25.  Aurora Coffey - American Harvest Eatery
“Everything’s a Remake of a Remake”

26.  Dave Gonsalves - Neon Wilderness
“The Struggle of the Fool”

27.  Dan Perzan - Somerset
“Springtime in a Cup”

28.  Emmanuel Wamah- Little Toasted

“The Samurai”

29.  Kirill Kuznetsov - Smyth & the Loyalist
“Up in ‘Choke”

30.  Scott Kitsmiller- Three Dots and a Dash, Neon Wilderness

“Shag Rug”

31.  Viacheslav Borisov - The Peninsula Chicago
“Architect Flip”

32.  Britt Simons - Bad Hunter | Pub Royale
“The Estran”

33.  Matt Greene - Old Irving Brewing Co.
“Empress Rising”

34.  Lance Bowman - Monnie Burke’s
“The Balancing Act”

35.  Janek - Peckish Pig
“Garden in a Glass”

36.  Jef Tate - Broken Shaker
“Howard & Paulina”

37.  Priscilla Farina - Etta
“Banana Split No Spoon”

38.  Christian Hetter - The Berkshire Room
“Apples & Peary Yo”

39.  Jerrell J. Reynolds - Coda di Volpe | Sportsman’s Club

“Crystal Myth

40.  Wesley James - Whiskey Thief Tavern
“Does Anybody Still Wear a Hat?”



 First Place: $3500

Second Place: $1000

Third Place: $500



View Pictures from 2017’s Competition 



  1. All spirits, wines, sake, or alcoholic beverages used in the production of cocktails must come from the Tenzing Wine & Spirits portfolio.  These Tenzing products will be provided for competitors on the day of the competition.

  2. No homemade ingredients are allowed. Bitters, syrups, tonics and flavored sodas need to come from the Tenzing Wine & Spirits portfolio.

  3. Competitors must bring all of their own tools, This includes but is not limited to: shakers, jiggers, strainers, tea strainers, pour spouts, syrup bottles, bitters decanters, tweezers, picks, straws, etc.

  4. Juices, raw ingredients, fruit and herbs are allowed but will not be provided. Competitors are responsible for all ingredients that are not a part of the Tenzing Wine & Spirits portfolio.

  5. Competitors should bring enough ingredients, juices and garnishes to produce at least 4 complete cocktails (2 for competition, 2 for photographs).

  6. Competitors must provide their own glassware.

  7. All garnishes edible (or inedible) must fit in or on a cocktail glass. All garnishes must be provided by competitors. Presentation is being judged.

  8. Garnishes can be prepared before the competition.

  9. Each cocktail must be named. No lewd cocktail names.

  10. No fire or open flame can be used in the execution of a cocktail.

  11. Each competitors will have access to a standard 120V electrical outlet for cocktail production. Use of the outlet must be specified in recipe submission.

  12. Cocktail submissions will be tasted and reviewed blindly.

  13. 40 competitors selected to compete will be notified on September 17th.



  1. All judging will be executed blindly.

  2. Judges will consist of certified cicerones, certified sommeliers, cocktail industry professionals, food/drink media members, chefs, and cocktail enthusiasts.

  3. Competitors must make 2 of their selected cocktail. One will be reviewed by the judges; the other will be used for photographs.

  4. Each contestant will have 5 minutes to execute 2 of their selected cocktail.

  5. There will be 8 heats of 5 competitors.

  6. Each competitor will have an assigned presentation time. Assigned times will be chosen at random and will be distributed to competitors on September 17th.

  7. There will be 3 rounds of judging:

➢ 3 judges for the first 20 competitors

➢ 3 judges for the second 20 competitors

➢ 6 judges for the 10 finalists

➢ All the judges will come together and collectively vote on the top 3 winners



➢  Presentation (garnish, glassware, and cocktail name) 10 pts

➢  Taste (aroma, flavor, and balance)  20 pts

➢  The ten contestants with the highest total points will make their cocktail again in the finals.



Tenzing provides a space to work on your cocktails at the Tenzing Bar at 165 N. Morgan St.



Please email all queries to


The competition is organized by Small Talk Hospitality, LLC and sponsored by Tenzing Wine & Spirits.