• Brian Holt

Top bartenders face off to see who's the best


Who’s the top bartender in Southern California? We’re about to find out! The Ultimate Bartender Championship starts at 12 p.m. on Thursday, October 19 at Park & Rec in University Heights.

It’s being put on by Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky and Tales of the Cocktail.

Bartenders will battle it out over five rounds to win the title of Ultimate Bartender. Over the five rounds, contestants will be tested on their proficiency in all aspects of what it takes to be a top bartender. The group will be whittled down to three finalists who will compete for the regional title and a trip to Scotland.

Among the bartenders competing:

Adele Carolyn Stratton - Jaynes Gastropub

Andrew Cordero - The Noble Experiment

Andrew Larson - The Hake

Antonio Gonzales - Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen

Antonio Orozco - Florent

Ashley Baldo - The Lot

Chad Austin - Bootlegger Tiki

Colin Coleman - Playa Provisions

David Saenz - VACA

Diana Danaila - Cache

Evgeny Y Anisimov - Park Hyatt Aviara

Jacob Howland - Hilton Sky Bar

Jefferson Joseph Starling - Harvest,

Jimmy Valenzuela - Central Laguna Beach

Joan Villanueva - Cache

Laura Draper - Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub

Rafael Ramirez - The Exhibition Room

Sam Olguin - The Draft

Seth Marquez - Campfire

The day before the competition, the Behind Bars Panel Discussion is being held.

It’s taking place on Wednesday, October 18 at 2 p.m. at Seven Grand in North Park

On the panel will be world famous bartenders with great tips for up and coming bartenders on how to succeed in the business.

For more information about the competition, visit talesofthecocktail.com/events/ultimate-bartender-championship/

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Brian Holt is coffee drinker and burrito enthusiasts. Holt is a former TV news producer, he leisurely spends his days doing origami with dollar bills and trying new restaurants.

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