Bartender At The Left Bank Bar & Restaurant In York, PA Takes First Place
Meghann Allred made the best cocktail utilizing cognac as the main ingredient. There were 150 entrants and 20 semifinalists who were challenged to re-create cocktails and put to a blind taste by a panel of judges. Ten bartenders best showcased why cognac works well in cocktails and were selected as winners:
- Meghann Allred, Left Bank Bar & Restaurant — York, PA
- Mara Bethel (no bar affiliation) — Atlanta, GA
- Lance Bowman, Maya Hospitality Group — Charlotte, NC
- Jesse Cyr, Foreign National — Seattle, WA
- Chelsea DeMark, Quill at the Jefferson Hotel — Washington, DC
- Jena Ellenwood, Dear Irving — New York, NY
- Anna Giordano, Longway Tavern — New Orleans, LA
- Britt Ingalls, Silver Lyan — Washington, DC
- Lauren Paylor, Silver Lyan — Washington, DC
- Jessica Pomerantz, Black Rooster — West Columbia, SC
Put on by The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the Cognac Connection Challenge was created in partnership with agency Teuwen Communications to support U.S. bartenders during the pandemic and give them the opportunity to share their passion for mixing with cognac.
Bartenders entered the challenge by submitting an original cognac-based cocktail recipe, sharing their inspiration for the cocktail and what they’d learned about the spirit through the process. Recipes were judged on originality, creativity, technique, taste and appearance. Entrants also earned points by attending a virtual educational seminar, watching Instagram Lives, and sharing their cocktails on social media.
The ten winning bartenders received a $1,000 cash stipend and virtual trip to Cognac, France.