Creativity has no limits. It’s always evolving, encouraging us to explore and discover new territory. It gives us a channel to express ourselves and celebrate new ideas. Creativity is how imagination comes to life.

The USBG’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin seeks out bartenders who are at the forefront of creativity and artistry in cocktail-making. This is where the bartending world discovers its next great artist whose ingenuity and passion pushes the industry forward.

The finals of this year’s competition will take place in London and at Laverstoke Mill, the renowned BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin distillery. After 4 days of intense competition, the 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender will be crowned. For the winner, the end of the competition marks the beginning of the next phase of their bartending career.

Join us for The 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender Local Competitions:

  • New York, NYApril 24 – 26
  • Minneapolis, MNApril 24 – 25
  • Louisville, KYApril 24 – 25
  • Austin, TXApril 24 – 25
  • Las Vegas, NVApril 24 – 25
  • Seattle, WAApril 24 – 25
  • Boston, MAApril 24 – 25
  • San Francisco, CAApril 25 – 27
  • Honolulu, HawaiiApril 25 – 26
  • Toronto, ONApril 26 – 27
  • Columbus, OHApril 26 – 27
  • Dallas, TXApril 26 – 27
  • Phoenix, AZApril 26 – 27
  • Sacramento, CAApril 26 – 27
  • Chicago, ILMay 1 – 3
  • Atlanta, GAMay 1 – 2
  • Calgary, ABMay 1 – 2
  • Philadelphia, PAMay 1 – 2
  • Detroit, MIMay 1 – 2
  • Denver, COMay 1 – 2
  • Portland, ORMay 1 – 2
  • Indianapolis, INMay 1 – 2
  • San Diego, CAMay 1 – 2
  • Vancouver, BCMay 3 – 4
  • Washington, DCMay 3 – 4
  • Nashville, TNMay 3 – 4
  • Milwaukee, WIMay 3 – 4
  • Tampa, FLMay 3 – 4
  • Miami, FLMay 8 – 9
  • Los Angeles, CAMay 8 – 10
  • Houston, TXMay 8 – 9
  • Montreal, QCMay 8 – 9
  • New Orleans, LAMay 9 – 10

How it works

How does the competition work?

Starting on March 15th, find the city nearest you and book a time to present your original cocktail.  Judges will evaluate your cocktail at the bar most convenient to you.  If you don’t have a bar where you can be judged, a local ambassador will provide one for you.  Online enrollment closes April 13, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

Create your original cocktail, keeping the Official Rules and cocktail requirements in mind.

Please provide all ingredients, glassware, product, ice and bar tools necessary to make your cocktail. The judges will provide the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin.

Coming out of the local competitions, 120 bartenders from North America will be selected as regional finalists and will advance to one of 12 regional competitions. Travel costs will be covered.

The Regional Finals will take place in May and June 2017.

One winner will be selected from each regional competition to move on to the finals in London.

Who can sign up for this?

The competition is open only to US and Canada residents (except residents of Utah), but you have to be over 25 years old. You must have a valid passport, especially if you’re planning on making it all the way to the Finals in England. But more importantly, you need to have a ton of passion and imagination when it comes to the art of making cocktails.

What will I be judged on?

You’ll be asked to create an original cocktail, which will be judged on flavor, appearance, imagination and bartender presentation. Here are some important cocktail requirements that you’ll want to keep in mind.

What happens if I win the regional finals?

The regional winners will head down to New Orleans for an educational experience at Tales of the Cocktail in mid-July and then move on to London to compete in the Finals, between late August and early September. During the Finals, you will be competing in various bartending challenges. The judging panel will pick one grand prize winner based on the highest scores.

What if I win the Finals?

Congratulations. You’ll now be known as the 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender, joining an elite group of bartenders recognized worldwide. You will also be featured in premium content from GQ to gain the exposure you need to catapult your career to the next level.

How do I enter?

Book a date and time to showcase your cocktail skills at your home bar. Judges will be visiting 33 cities across the US and Canada, so make sure to pick the one that’s convenient for you. If you aren’t able to compete at your home bar, local representatives will provide a venue for you to present your cocktail.

Cocktail Requirements

The cocktail must be gin-based and include BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin. You can use as many ingredients as you like.

Every recipe must be expressed in fluid ounces, divided in respectively whole numbers (0.5 oz., 1 oz., 2oz.), with dashes and/or drops being the smallest quantities.

The content of the cocktail must be between 3 oz. and 11 oz (including dashes and drops).

No flaming alcohol or use of flames near alcohol.

Ingredients must be safe for human consumption.

Please plan to prepare 2 portions of your cocktail for the local competition.

Your cocktail should have a great name, which should not include any copyrighted or trademarked material of any retailer’s name. But you could use the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin brand in the name.

Imagination is everything. Imagination will be judged based on how well you demonstrate a creative cocktail concept and how well you use creative ingredients, textures, flavors, and expressions in the execution of the cocktail/mixed drink that enhances some/all of the ten botanicals in BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin.