James Beard Awards, Mionetto Mixology Masters Challenge Announce Winners

Congrats to New York's PDT for winning the first-ever James Beard Foundation "Outstanding Bar Program Award"! Campari was the inaugural presenting sponsor of the new award category that recognizes excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service. Gerry Ruvo, chairman and CEO of Campari America, and Steve Olson, wine and spirits chair of the James Beard Awards, bestowed the award to Jim Meehan, managing partner of PDT, at the James Beard Awards Gala, which was held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York. More than 2,000 culinary and beverage luminaries, foodies and media attended the event. The presentation of the Outstanding Bar Program Award marks the first time a leading U.S. culinary organization has provided this level of acclaim to a bar program. For more details, click here.

Jim Meehan

Managing Partner Jim Meehan accepted the award on behalf of mega-popular PDT, a cocktail haunt in New York City’s East Village.

Professional Finalist Kevin Cassidy of Mama Mia's Ristorante in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and Amateur Finalist Jolanta Dulskyte of Key West, Fla., have been named winners of the 2012 Mionetto Mixology Masters Challenge at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Jolanta and Cassidy bested competitors from across the country, inciting thousands to cast their vote for the most inspired and creative cocktails and outperforming the 18 other finalists in the amateur and professional categories. The two winners received awards for their cocktails, Mionetto Breeze and Mionetto Sunset Celebration, during the Mionetto Mixology Grand Finale of Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit. For the recipes, contact Elizabeth Kane Tate at [email protected] or Robecca Smith at [email protected]

In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Bacardi, Wirtz Beverage Nevada recently teamed up with MGM Resorts International to host the Bacardi 150th Anniversary MGM Resorts Cocktail Competition. Bartenders from seven MGM Resorts hotels converged inside Wirtz Beverage Nevada’s beverage development and training lab, The Alchemy Room, in a contest to create an original Bacardi Superior cocktail. Stanley Schaffe from MGM Grand’s Zuri took home top honors in the Luxury category while Mike Musinski from Luxor’s TENDER Steak & Seafood placed first in the Core category.

The winning Bacardi cocktails, which will be available soon at each contender’s property until February 2013, were the Cherry Drop featuring Bacardi Superior, Bacardi Torched Cherry, rock candy syrup, lime and cherry brandy syrup and the Basil Mojito featuring Bacardi Superior, basil, rock candy syrup, club soda and fresh lime, created by Schaffe and Musinski, respectively. To get the rest of the story, click here.

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