6 Finalists Named for 2016 “Star of the Bar” Cocktail Competition

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The National Restaurant Association today announced the six finalists of the 2016 Regional Star of the Bar Market Challenge.

They will compete in the upcoming Star of the Bar Finals at BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) as part of the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Taking place at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Sunday, May 22, the finals will be emceed by Spike TV’s Bar Rescue Host and Executive Producer Jon Taffer, with a panel of judges selecting the overall winner.

This national cocktail competition annually invites six finalists from leading culinary cities — including Chicago, San Diego, Boston, Charleston, New York City, and San Francisco — to mix up innovative cocktails using Jägermeister.

Finalists from each market are flown to Chicago to face off in a live event on the 2016 NRA Show floor for a chance to win the Star of the Bar title and $5,000 grand prize.

The annual Star of the Bar regional competition series kicked off in Chicago on February 29 at Gallery at GreenRiver, with regional competitions concluding this week at Twenty Five Lusk in San Francisco. The complete list of regional finalists competing for the overall Star of the Bar title at the NRA Show this May include:

Chicago Finalist: Carlos Cuarta
Restaurant/Bar: 90 Miles Cuban Café
Winning cocktail: “Curt’s Summer Dram,” a complex cocktail created with Jägermeister, rum, passion fruit, lemon juice, and bitters

San Diego Finalist: Brian Prugalidad
Restaurant/Bar: Bracero Cocina
Winning cocktail: “Finishing Move: Serious, Serious Punch,” a complex cocktail using pineapple, pisco, bitters, and cinnamon bark syrup to complement the Jägermeister

Boston Finalist: Tenzin Samdo
Restaurant/Bar: Trade-Boston
Winning cocktail: “56 Secret Admirers,” a mix of Jägermeister, mezcal, ginger beer, bitters, and candied ginger

Charleston Finalist: Teddy Nixon
Restaurant/Bar: Bar Mash
Winning cocktail: “Day Tripper,” a tropical blend of toasted coconut pineapple rum, pineapple juice, lime, orgeat, peychaud bitters, and absinthe along with Jägermeister

New York Finalist: Matt Friedlander
Restaurant/Bar: Fools Gold NYC
Winning cocktail: “Any Which Way But Left,” blending Jägermeister with aperol, amaro, molé bitters, and a grapefruit peel garnish

San Francisco Finalist: Baron Stelling
Place of work: Paragary’s Midtown and The Shady Lady Saloon
Winning cocktail: “The Stag Savior,” blending Jägermeister with gin, lime juice, grenadine, and apricot liquor, topped with dashes of bitters and absinthe
For more information on how to at

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