Abigail Gullo of Compère Lapin in New Orleans was announced today as the winner of the 2016 Bartender of the Year competition. This contest is organized by Heaven Hill Brands and Liquor.com and brings together the best bartenders from across America to challenge their skillset and knowledge. For the finals, Gullo championed and won the title, a chance to be a part of three cocktail recipe videos on Liquor.com and the $15,000 grand prize.
The Bartender of the Year contest requires competitors to undergo a series of tasks in order to be considered for the finals. After submitting in recipes, bartenders were chosen to compete in separate regions and cities – one of which was New Orleans. From there, Gullo and the other semifinalists were brought to Puerto Rico for the final challenge.
The judges of the final round were Allen Katz, Directors of Mixology & Spirits Education for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Bar Manager of Clyde Common & Pépé Le Moko. Finalists were judged on every quality a bartender should assume, from hospitality to skill and creativity. Abigail Gullo proved to be the top innovator, and her virtuosity is one to be congratulated.