USBG Cocktail Competition Rules
Star of the Bar Competition presented by National Restaurant Association and USBG

 

COMPETITION INFORMATION:

 

The Competition:

Online Application and Judging:

 

PRELIMINARY ROUND:

 

  • The competition will be comprised of a:
    • Preliminary Round:  Online Application Period, January 6th – 27th
    • Live Semifinals in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Austin, and San Francisco (Dates TBD)
    • Final competition will take place May 21st in Chicago at the National Restaurant Association’s BAR Event held in conjunction with NRA Show 2017, May 20 - 23
    • Judges will include USBG professionals.
  • This cocktail competition is organized by the USBG in conjunction with National Restaurant Association.
  • Drinks will be judged on appearance, aroma, creativity, and taste. Overall impression points will determine the winner in the case of a tie.
  • Ten participants will be selected to compete in each live semifinal competition. The winner from each of the live semifinals will advance to the Final competition. Coach airfare and two nights hotel accommodations will be provided by the National Restaurant Association for the Final Competition.
  • One final competitor will win a cash prize of $5,000.
  • Participants will enter through the online application link located at the end of this document.
  • The Application period will open on January 6, 2017, and close on 11:59 pm pacific on January 27, 2017.
  • There will be no extension period unless otherwise determined by the USBG.
  • The competition is open to all US bartenders. If you are not in one of the five semifinal cities (Austin, Boston, Chicago, Miami, or San Francisco) please select the closest city to you. If you are selected to compete in a semifinal competition, you will be responsible for all travel and hotel accommodations to and from the competition city that you selected.
  • All applications will be judged blindly by the USBG Selection Committee.
  • The announcement of all semifinalists will be made on February 10, 2017.
  • All judge’s decisions are final.

 

COMPETITION RULES:

 

Recipe Rules:

  • There is no spirit brand sponsor for the Semifinal round. If you advance to the final round, you may be required to submit a final recipe with a sponsor brand yet to be determined.
  • The total volume of the ingredients in the recipe shall not exceed 8 ounces of liquid.
  • The maximum number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients in the recipe shall be limited to seven (7) including dashes, drops, and rimmed glassware.
  • Garnishes must be edible and can be placed on the rim of glass. Garnishes in the glass will be considered an ingredient.
  • Ingredients may be measured or freely poured.
  • Drinks may be stirred, shaken, or built
  • Recipe shall not include blended or hot beverages (coffee, tea, etc.).
  • Competitors must bring their own bar utensils to prepare the cocktail. No tools will be provided.
  • Competitors must bring glassware and all ingredients to prepare 4 full sized portions of their cocktail to be judged. The competition organizers will provide a juicer and fresh citrus: lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit.  

 

Ingredients:

  • Homemade ingredients are allowed

 

Garnishes:

  •  Part of the judging process is on presentation of cocktail and its’ garnish. Please don’t underestimate the value of your garnish.
  • Garnishes will be prepared (cut-up) prior to going on stage.
  • Garnishes shall consist only of edible fruit or vegetables.
  • Artificial arrangements or food-dyes shall not be allowed.
  • Condiments, such as salt, sugar, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and others, shall be allowed and will be counted as ingredients in the recipe.
  • Any questionable garnishes must obtain the approval of the USBG.

 

Live Competition Format:

  • The sequence of competitors in the competition shall be a random drawing the day before the competition.
  • The competitor shall present themselves in their Bartender's work uniform. Shirt, tie, jacket recommended. Women blouse is acceptable.
  • Each competitor shall be limited to seven (7) minutes to prepare their cocktails; this will be carefully monitored by the competition coordinator who will penalize those who exceed this time limit deducting 1 point per 10 seconds over the limit. Those who go over nine (9) minutes will be disqualified.
  • Each competitor will make 4 identical cocktails. 3 for the judges and one for photo opportunities to be put on display.
  • The USBG Judging Panel will total points and the scores from three Judges will be added together to determine the winner. All decisions of the USBG Judging Panel shall be final.
  • The organizers shall provide workable stations to prep garnishes and perform the cocktail competition.
  • Competitors will compete two at a time.
  • When the competitors have setup and displayed the ingredients and bottles, they shall wait for the signal from the competition coordinator to begin mixing. The competitor must raise their drink and present it to the judges and the competition coordinator to signal the end of their presentation and stop the time. A designated person will pick up those drinks and deliver them to the Judges and set one for display.
  • Competitors shall clean the station in preparation of the next competitor.
  • Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need as once the clock starts you will have 7 minutes to make your 4 cocktails.

 

Judging Criteria:

Appearance of Drink

Excellent: 8

Very Good: 5

Good: 3

Average: 1

Below Average: 0

Aroma of Drink

Excellent: 4

Very Good: 3

Good: 2

Average: 1

Below Average: 0

Creativity*
 

Excellent: 7

Very Good: 5

Good: 3

Average: 2

Below Average: 1

Taste of Drink
 

Excellent: 15

Very Good: 10

Good: 7

Average: 3

Below Average: 1

Overall impression+

Excellent: 4

Very Good: 3

Good: 2

Fair: 1

 

 

COMPETITION TIPS:
 
Before stepping up to bar…
  • Check glassware. Make sure they are all the same. Polish to remove water stains.
  • Prepare garnishes.  All garnishes must be edible. Fruit should be freshly cut and on a pick if using one. Present the garnish on a small plate or on the rim of a glass.
  • Pour your juices into glass mini carafes or cruets. These should be wide mouth so you can fit a spoon inside to stir up any settled juice pulp.
  • Everything you need including all ingredients, glassware, tools, and garnishes are carried to the bar on a bar tray.
  • Review checklist.

When your number is called…

  •  There will be 5 heats with 2 competitors competing simultaneously.
  • Carry your tray to the bar. Remove everything from the tray, glasses in front of you and everything in view of the judges. All labels should face outward toward the audience. The clock will not start until you are ready.
  • Ice glassware to chill. This is allowed before the clock starts. Tell the judge you are ready. Wait until the competition coordination instructs you to begin.
  • Ice shakers and shake to chill. Dump ice and excess water into dump tray.
  • Start pouring your ingredient, present each ingredient to the audience, no order is necessary although pouring the sponsors product first is a sign of acknowledgment to that brand.
  • Pour liquid into mixing glass if using a Boston Shaker. Continue with remaining ingredients, least expensive to most expensive, first presenting each to the audience.
  • Dump ice and excess water from glassware. (Re-ice if necessary)
  • Add ice to the shaker.
  • Smile! Have fun! A good attitude scores points.
  • Pour. Starting from your left to right, fill each glass halfway, then go back and finish filling the glasses.
  • If using two shakers, make sure you fill the glasses evenly from the first shaker and finish with the second. Do not make one full drink at a time. By pouring across you will ensure all drinks are the same.
  • Add garnish and straws if you are using them. Garnishes and straws must be handled with tongs, never with your fingers…but better to use your fingers than go overtime!
  • Present cocktail to the audience. Again, smile. This step is very important. The clock continues to run until you present your drink.

 

SUBMIT YOUR RECIPES HERE!

Or copy and paste the following into your browser:

https://usbartendersguild.formstack.com/forms/star_of_the_bar

GOOD LUCK!