Bartender of the Year New York Finalist Reflects on Feelings of Home for Winning Cocktail

— April 4, 2019
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Heaven Hill Brands, announce seventh finalist for 2019 “Bartender of the Year”

BARDSTOWN, KY – C. Parker Luthman, Bartender at the Eddy in Providence, RI, announced as the Heaven Hill Brands and New York finalist for the 2019 Bartender of the Year Competition. Luthman won first place, $1,000 and a trip to the finals at Half Mile Farm in Highlands, North Carolina.

In the second round of the semifinal competition, contestants created the inspired cocktail submitted as a recipe in the preliminary round. Luthman crafted the “Feelings of Home,” inspired by finding family in unconventional places (see recipe at end of release).

“Heaven Hill has a respectable history rooted in their family-run traditions. Their sense of ownership in what they create and their ethos in preserving their core values inspired me to contemplate what I consider as family and home,” said Luthman. “This low-abv cocktail is a very personal tribute to my partner, my bar family, myself, and that undeniably great feeling one gets when they can say, ‘this feels like home,’ even if it’s found in unconventional places.”

Andon Whitehorn of The Arcadian in Middlebury, VT won second place and $500. Six semifinalists competed regionally in New York on Monday, April 1 at [bā’sik]. Bartenders competed in three rounds, the first two featuring the classic cocktail and inspired cocktail from their preliminary submission. For the final round, bartenders created a custom drink for a fictional bar menu using a minimum of 1.5 ounces of at least one Heaven Hill brand not previously featured in one of their cocktails including Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, as well as Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif, Sacred Bond Brandy, or Lunazul Tequila. Contestants and judges were then invited to a family dinner at Olmsted and professional development with Masa Urushido of Katana Kitten. Urushido created a cocktail utilizing Heaven Hill products and spoke to his inspiration behind it, as well as his career paths and how dedication to people and customer service has led to his success.

National Brand Educator for Heaven Hill Brands Lynn House, Owner/Bartender of Pouring Ribbons Joaquín Simó, and Urushido 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 1,100 original cocktail recipes were submitted online nationwide beginning September 15, 2018. Preliminary entries required two original cocktail recipes, one rendition of a classic recipe, and one relating to an inspiration, along with a short description of how the cocktail represents a deep inspiration to their life. The top contestant from each region will go on to vie for the title of Bartender of the Year and $15,000 at Half Mile Farm in Highlands, North Carolina from June 17-20, 2019. 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. Harrison Ginsberg of The Dead Rabbit in New York City was the 2018 Bartender of the Year and will return as a guest judge for the finals. Ginsberg joined an impressive rank of past champions, including Nathan O’Neill from the Nomad Bar in New York City who was named Bartender of the Year in 2017, and Abigail Gullo formerly of Compere Lapin in New Orleans who won the inaugural competition in 2016. Visit the official competition website at for complete competition details.

Feelings of Home
Crafted by Parker Luthman


  • Domaine de Canton Liqueur (1.5 ounce(s))
  • Lunazul Tequila Blanco (.5 ounce(s))
  • Clarified plantain syrup (1 ounce(s))
  • Coconut milk (.5 ounce(s))
  • Lime juice (.75  ounce(s))
  • Sesame oil (1 dash(es))

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with one Kold-Draft cube until fully melted. Strain into a Pilsner glass and fill with pebble ice. Garnish with the two pineapple fronds and freshly-grated nutmeg.

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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