Best Bartender of New Orleans Contest

00:00 October 29, 2012
By: Greg Roques

To add a personal touch, each year Where Y'at sponsors a competition to give some recognition to the fine bartenders who serve up our favorite drinks. Each bar reviewed in the guide also had the opportunity to nominate their most hardworking, dynamic and creative bartenders. This year, the contest is presented by Wild Turkey 81 and the challenge for the nominees is to create a signature cocktail using the high-proof bourbon. Check out their recipes for cocktail ideas, the variety of tasty concoctions span flavors of all kinds. Decide for yourself who's made the ultimate cocktail by voting for your favorite in the Best Bartender of New Orleans Contest on We also asked some of the nominees to tell us about the craziest stuff they've seen as facilitators of this wild city's constant parties. Naturally, the stories they told are funny, jaw dropping and at times even star-studded. Check out their comments throughout. - Erica Boni

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

12 Mile Limit

Anderson Stockdale Fall Crush

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ½ oz. Aperol Liqueur ½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice 3 dashes Tiki Bitters

Shake, strain, top with ice. Add 2 oz. orange soda and a lemon wedge garnish

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]


Kilafu Bailey Flying Turkey

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Firefl y ½ oz. Simple Syrup

Fill with orange juice and pineapple juice.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Balcony Bar & Café

Rachael Qunthor

2 count Wild Turkey 81 3 oz. Lemonade 1 ½ oz. Coconut Syrup

Shake and pour.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Bar Tonique

Bazil Zerinsky

Bazi's Hurrication

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¾ oz. Yellow Chartreuse ¾ oz. Lemon Juice ¼ oz. Vanilla Bean Syrup ¼ oz. Allspice Dram

Garnish with a sprig of mint.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]


Margot Cook

Margot's Swamp Water

¼ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¼ oz. Peach Schnapps ¼ oz. Amaretto ¼ oz. Melon Midori A splash of Sweet & Sour

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Bombay Club

l.J. Hunt

Grand Dad Turkey

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Simple Syrup 1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice Sprig of Mint

Fill equal parts Soda and 7up.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Bourbon Heat

Emily Istre

Gobble Gobble

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 3 Ice Cubes 1 Glass

Why mess with perfection?

What's your Wildest Night Bartending?

A customer bought the dress off of me. - Emily Istre, Bourbon Heat Movie wrap parties can get pretty wild. - Sierra Fitzgerald, House of Blues Every night that I bartend. - Matt Smith, Rick's Cabaret The owner came behind the bar and started pouring shots for customers.

- Brian Oliver, Visions Men's Club The Saints Super Bowl win. - Jason White, The Penthouse Club

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Bruno's Tavern

Bill Hodgson


½ shot Wild Turkey 81 ½ shot Wild Turkey ½ shot Wild Turkey American Honey Water Lemonade Black Tea Basil

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Buffa's Lounge

Bonnie Cook Pontiac Bonnieville

1 jigger Wild Turkey 81 1 jigger White Rum 1 jigger Amaretto 1 jigger Peach Schnapps 1 jigger Pineapple Juice

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone

Marvin Allen

Fall Apple Turkey

1 Egg White 2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 2 tbsp. Apple Cinnamon Preserves 1 Squeeze of Lemon 1 /8 oz. Agave Nectar 2-4 dashes of Black Walnut Bitters

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Club Caribbean

Kalvin Hewitt

Jive Turkey

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ½ oz. Carolans ½ oz. Kahlua Dash of Nutmeg Dash of Pumpkin Spice

Top with whipped cream and cinnamon garnish.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Coyote Ugly Saloon

Jasmine Okuma

Lemon Spice

½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¼ oz. Pucker Lemonade Splash of Sour Squeeze of Lemon Wedge

Shake and strain. Serve in sugar rimmed shot glass.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Dino's Bar & Grill

Allie Verde


Wild Turkey 81 Sweet Vermouth

Garnished with a cherry.

Coolest person you've ever met?

Randy Jackson from Zebra comes in here and plays acoustically about 4 times a year. - Ian Gregory, Hurricanes Sports Bar

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Dive Bar

Kassie Netherland


1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 Pineapple Juice Cranberry Juice Sweet and Sour Mix Splash of Grenadine Squeeze of Lemon

Shake and pour into Collins glass.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Eiffel Society

Reida Singh

Wild Olivia

1 ¼ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¾ oz. St. Germain ¾ oz. Wild Hibiscus Syrup Suae and Straeu Euto Champagne Lemon Squeeze in lemon and Wild Hibiscus fl ower.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Erin Rose Bar

Evan Manowitz

Turkey Lemonade

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 ½ oz. Simple Syrup Splash of Sour Mix Splash of Soda Water

Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Advice or Tips for Aspiring Bartenders?

Taste everything: coffee, wine, spirits, food!

Be adventurous and it will help you behind the bar.

- Anderson Stockdale, 12 Mile Limit First you need a personality. Then you need to be able to identify many different types of people. Defi nitely cannot be shy.

- Josh Daley, Tropical Isle Original

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Finn McCool's Irish Pub

lauren Soboul

Ol' Frisky Whiskey

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 tbsp. Light Brown Sugar 1 tbsp. Very Hot Water Dash of 100% Pure Vanilla Extract Dash of Angostura Bitters 1 Satsuma Wedge

Combine in rocks glass, swirl. Add Wild Turkey 81 and ice, stir. Garnish with Satsuma wedge.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Fulton on Tap

Ross VanGeffen

The Wild Julep

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 2 tsp. Water 4 Mint Leaves 1 tsp. Powdered Sugar

Muddle mint water and sugar. Add ice and Wild Turkey 81. Garnish with mint leaf.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Hangar 13

Matthew Fortmayer

The Turkey Glider

Coat Glass with Sweet Vermouth 1 shot Wild Turkey 81 Splash Ginger Ale 2 Lemon Wedges Squeezed Splash of Cranberry

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Happy's Irish Pub

Davina Alpert

Turkey Bomb

1 /3 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 /3 oz. Malibu Rum 1 /3 oz. Peach Schnapps Splash of Orange Juice Splash of Cranberry Juice

Combine in shaker with ice. Shake and strain into rocks glass.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Hermes' Bar at Antoine's

Mechelle Davis

Who Dat

Wild Turkey 81 Peach Brandy Sour Mix Sprite Wedge of Orange

Bartender Pet Peeves?

Hands in the fruit tray. - Eric Molina, Witt's Inn

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Holy Ground

Cheryl Hoehn

Turkey Feathers

1 oz. of Wild Turkey 81 ½ oz. of Apricot Brandy ½ oz. of Triple Sec

Squeeze slice of orange. Top with soda and water.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

House of Blues

Sierra Fitzgerald

Country Stroll

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 4 Blackberries 2 Sprigs of Dill ½ oz. of Blackberry Brandy ½ oz. Simple Syrup 2 Squeezed Lemon Wedges

Shaken & strained over ice.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Hurricanes Sports Bar & Grill

Ian Gregory

Wild Side

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 ½ Pint of Woodchuck 1 oz. Peach Schnapps

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Irving Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse

Jamie Burton

Holiday Manhattan

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¾ oz. Cranberry Liqueur ¾ oz. Triple Sec Clove Syrup


J & J's Sports Lounge

Melanie Shubert

Harvest Moon

1 tsp. Apple Sauce with Cinnamon 1 tsp. Hot Butter Drink Mix 3 oz. Apple Cider 1 oz. Very Hot Water

Mix all together. Heat in microwave. Add 1 shot of Wild Turkey 81 into an Irish coffee glass, pour in heated mix. Garnish with a cinnamon stick topped with whipped cream.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Jigger's Bar & Grill

Ben Enault

Snowshoe Shot

Wild Turkey 81 Peppermint Schnapps

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Kerry Irish Pub

Paul Bowman

The Yard Bird

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 4 oz. Ginger Ale ½ oz. Orange Juice

Shaken and served on the rocks.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Le Bon Temps Roule

Kim DeWitt

Famous Bloody Mary

Wild Turkey 81 Le Bon Temps Bloody Mary Mix

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Lucy's Retired surfer's Bar

Chris Johnson

Kentucky Cosmo

2 ¼ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¾ oz. Grand Marnier 1 /3 oz. Orange Juice 1-2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon rind.

Best thing that happened while bartending?

I met my fi ancé. - Lauren Soboul, Finn McCool's Irish Pub

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Maison

Victoria Treadaway

Wild Apple Spice Martini

1 shot of Wild Turkey 81 1 shot Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Peach Bitters 4 dashes of Whiskey Bitters

Muddle cherries. Shake and strain over rocks. Top off with an orange zest.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Masquerade at Harrah's

Al Theroit

Angry Bird

1 ¼ oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¼ oz. Triple Sec Squeeze of Orange Cinnamon Rim

Garnish with orange twist.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Mid-City Yacht Club

George Pool

Smooth Sail

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 2 oz. Cointreau 2 oz. Ginger Ale

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Monkey Hill

Ashley Baker

101 Degrees

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Chocolate Liqueur 1 oz. Coffee Liqueur Splash of Milk Pinch of Cayenne Pinch of Cinnamon

Shake. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with chocolate and graham crackers. Top with hazelnut whipped cream.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Parlay's Bar

Brenna Hopmeyer

Turkey Drop

2 parts Wild Turkey 81 1 part Sour Mix Squeeze of Lemon A dash of Simple Syrup

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Pat o'Brien's

Marie Kimball

Doctor Morgus

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 Pat O'Briens Cyclone Mix Splash of Green Crème de Menthe

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Penthouse Club

Jason White

Turkey Tea

1.5 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 Dirty Glass

Most embarrassing moment?

I was changing a keg & it exploded ALL over me, while eight guys were waiting at the bar for the keg of beer to be changed. - Margot Cook, BMC

When I ripped my pants changing a keg and one of the waitresses had to staple my pants together. - Nick Wheelock, The Columns Hotel

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Rick's Cabaret

Matt Smith

Rue la Ville

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 2 oz. Apricot Juice Ground Cinnamon Twist of Lemon

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Rita's Tequila House

Teague Phoenix

Wild Apple Spice Martini

1 ¼ oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 ¼ oz. Apple Pucker 1 oz. Lemon Liquor Ginger ale

Shaken & strain. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Rivershack Tavern

Jennifer Hemphill

Bye Bye Blackbird

Wild Turkey 81 Lemonade Soda Triple Sec Blackberry Puree Splash of Sour Mix Squeeze of Lemon


[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Sarah McGloon

Turkey's Revenge

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Triple Sec Splash of Pineapple Juice Splash of Orange Juice Float Myers Rum

Garnish with a lime. Serve in 16 oz. glass.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

St. Joe's Bar

Jason Mangone

Blueberry Old-Fashioned

2 oz. Wild Turkey 81 3 Blueberries 1 Orange Slice ¼ oz. Simple Syrup 3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters Splash of Club Soda

Muddle blueberries, orange slice and simple syrup in a rocks glass. Add ice & Wild Turkey 81. Stir and top with a splash of club soda.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Boot

Corey Fayette

Turkey Ball

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 ¾ oz. Amaretto Splash of Pineapple Juice

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Columns

Nick Wheelock

The Tom Snood

Rim rocks glass with Chartreuse & flower water. Chill 2 parts Wild Turkey 81 and 1 part Triple Sec. Strain into rocks glass. Top it off with a splash of Ginger Beer and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

TJ Quills

Matthew Morgan

Thanksgiving Dinner

1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka Cranberry Juice

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]


Bob Walker

Purple People-Eater

Wild Turkey 81 ½ tbsp. Brown Sugar 2 Small Blackberries Orange Zest Dash of Bitters Lemon Juice

Coat Glass with olive brine. Fill with ice and garnish with orange slice and blackberry.

Biggest tip you've ever gotten?

I've gotten $200 on a $80 tab. - Brenna Hopmeyer, Parlay's Bar Every tip from Mr. Chau's Waka Kickball. - Matthew Morgan, TJ Quills A regular came in one time and left a $400 tip on a $50 tab.

- AJ Johnson, Tropical Isle Bayou Club

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Tropical Isle Bayou Club

AJ Johnson

Blue Gobbler

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Peach Schnapps 1 oz. Blue Curacao 2 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix 1 oz. Sprite

Shake and pour.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Tropical Isle original

Josh Daley

Turkey Tea

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 4 oz. Pineapple Juice ¼ oz. Malibu Rum ¼ oz. Peach Schnapps ¼ oz. Cranberry Juice ¼ oz. Orange Juice Lemon & Lime Slices Shake. Pour in glass. Top off with cherry juice & garnish with cherry.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Visions Men's Club

Brian Oliver

Turkey Tea

1.5 oz. Wild Turkey 81 3 oz. Coke Splash of Sweet and Sour Lemon Wedge

Shake and pour.

[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

Wit's Inn

Eric Molina

Carrolton Cocktail

1 oz. Wild Turkey 81 1 oz. Peppercorn Simple Syrup 3 dashes Aztec chocolate bitters

Squeeze 2 lemons over rocks.

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