Bartender of the Year Charleston Finalist Draws Inspiration from Childhood Memories

— April 12, 2018

Heaven Hill Brands, announce sixth of eight finalists for 2018 “Bartender of the Year”

BARDSTOWN, KY – Arthur Boothe’s citrus-enthused winning cocktail blends family ties from central Florida. Announced today as the Heaven Hill Brands and Charleston finalist for the 2018 Bartender of the Year Competition, Boothe won first place, $1,000 and a trip to the finals at The Lodge on Sea Island, Ga.

“What this cocktail aims to do is tie together two very vivid memories from my youth; the ever present citrus, and the family vacations we would take every summer up the Florida coast,” said Boothe, Co-Conspirator at Bitters & Brass in Sanford, Fla. “When I drink this cocktail the combination of citrus and exotic juices, ginger from the Domaine de Canton, the heat and subtle oak notes of the 100 proof Rittenhouse, blended with Donn Beach’s special mixture of Angostura and Herbsaint echo the flavors and smells that transfer me back to the summers of my youth with my family, in a world that seems so much further away than the one my children are growing up in – even though it’s only right down the road.”

Ryan Smith of Macon, Ga. won second place and $500. Four semifinalists competed regionally in Charleston on Monday, April 9 at Proof. Bartenders competed in two rounds, first mixing the family-inspired cocktail from their preliminary submission, then creating an original cocktail fit for the menu of the host bar using at least 1.5 ounces of total of Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, or Rittenhouse Rye Whisky. Contestants and judges were then invited to a family dinner at McCrady’s where Dave Arnold, author of Liquid Intelligence: The Art & Science of the Perfect Cocktail, led a discussion on the relationship between sugars and acids, and how to create well-balanced cocktails, before the winner was announced.

National Brand Educator for Heaven Hill Brands Lynn House, Partner at Alchemy Consulting and Owner/Bartender of Pouring Ribbons Joaquín Simó, and Owner-Operator of Proof Craig Nelson judged the semifinalists’ cocktails and chose one finalist based on highest scores. Contestant skills and cocktails were scored on flavor, appearance, presentation, technical skills, use of sponsor brands, and adherence to judges’ guidelines.

More than 1,000 original cocktail recipes were submitted online nationwide beginning September 15, 2017. Preliminary entries required two original cocktail recipes, one rendition of a classic recipe, and one relating to family along with a short description of how the cocktail was inspired by their interpretation of family. The top contestant from each region will go on to vie for the title of Bartender of the Year and $15,000 at The Lodge on Sea Island, Ga. in June 2018. Finalists will be challenged on their full range of skills as hospitality professionals. Judges will be looking for the ultimate bartender who displays the total breadth and aptitude all bartenders aspire to embody.

Grounded in the original Bartender of the Year Competition hosted by Domaine de Canton starting in 2009, Heaven Hill Brands resurrected the competition due to strong demand from bartenders worldwide. Nathan O’Neill from the Nomad Bar in New York City was named Bartender of the Year in 2017, and Abigail Gullo of Compere Lapin in New Orleans won the inaugural competition in 2016. Visit the official competition website at for complete competition details.

Down South Cooler – Inspired by the concept of family
Crafted by Arthur Boothe


Rittenhouse Rye (1.5 ounce(s))
Domaine De Canton (.5 ounce(s))
Lustau fino sherry (.5 ounce(s))
white grapefruit juice (.25 ounce(s))
Passion fruit syrup (.5 ounce(s))
lemon (.5 ounce(s))
Peychauds bitters (3 dash(es))

Pour ingredients into shaker and fill shaker with 12 ounces of crushed ice. Shake contents for 5 seconds, then pour with seasoned ice into Pearl Diver Glass, topping off with crushed ice. Sprinkle curry powder across the top, and garnish with orchids and a paper straw.

About Heaven Hill Brands: Founded in 1935, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Brands ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams Bourbon; Larceny, Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna Bourbons; Rittenhouse Rye Whisky; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Admiral Nelson’s and Blackheart Rums; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; The Christian Brothers Brandies; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur; Lunazul Tequila and Carolan’s Irish Cream Liqueur.



Lauren Cherry
Heaven Hill Brands
(502) 413-0217

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