Woodford Reserve Announces Winner of Manhattan Experience Competition

Woodford Reserve announced that the winner of this year’s Manhattan Experience is Atlanta bartender Jarret Holborough.

Woodford Reserve is the sponsor of Liquor.com’s Manhattan Experience. The competition allows mixologists to showcase their skills, as well as challenges them to delve deeper into the profile of the Manhattan and its ingredients.

The annual, national competition was held virtually for the first time due to the global pandemic, but still saw hundreds of entries from around the U.S. Entrants submitted their Woodford Reserve Manhattan recipes to be re-created in New York and evaluated by a team of judges that included highly regarded bartenders like Julie Reiner, Charles Joly and Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Holborough won the title of “The Master of the Manhattan” with his classic cocktail, the Bourbon’s Mad Scientist, and his original cocktail is called Tea Time in ’96. The other top five finalists, Sarah Syman (Chicago), Dannika Underhill (San Diego), Meghan Wright (Miami), Jorge Buch (Puerto Rico), Jessica Ford (Charleston) will also be awarded a cash prize as well as a trip to the Woodford Reserve Distillery as part of next year’s program.

“Once again the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience sets the bar for creating community through a competition,” Bezuidenhout said. “Making this happen was a huge undertaking, but well worth it. The competitors really did an amazing job adapting to the digital format and were so grateful for the opportunity to carry on with the competition given all of the hardships over the year. It was great to be a part of it.”

Reiner added: “The bartenders put so much effort into transporting us to their bars, and did such a great job with the digital format. The Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience is one of my favorite annual events, I am just thrilled that we were able to make it happen.”

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