The Ultimate Bartender Championship Kicks Off

Monkey Shoulder Whisky, notorious for its cheeky bartender engagement and playful cocktail creations, has partnered with the USBG to search for the best of the best bartenders with a set of challenges designed to prove proficiency in all aspects of what it takes to be a top bartender.

The Ultimate Bartender Championship is kicking off its country-wide search for the best bartender on Monday, November 16th. To claim bragging rights and the ultimate prize, participants will face-up in 7 challenges that test their knowledge, experience, and skills behind the bar. The winners will claim bragging rights in their respective city plus a unique prize. The score from each heat is entered into the UBC national leaderboard, from which the strongest bartenders will advance to the Grand Finals. In the Finals, the bartenders will hone the next level skills needed to run your own bar. The Ultimate Bartender Championship winner will claim a once-in-a-lifetime prize.


Denver, CO
November 16, 2015
Time 5–9pm
Venue info: Punch Bowl Social, 65 Broadway St, Denver, CO 80203

Milwaukee, WI
November 17, 2015
Time 5–9pm
Venue info: Whiskey Bar, 788 N. Jackson St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Chicago, IL
November 18, 2015
Time 4–8pm
Venue info: Brass Monkey, 401 N. Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60642

Charleston, SC
December 7, 2015
Time 2–6pm
Venue info: The Cedar Room, 701 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29403

Philadelphia, PA
December 8, 2015
Time 5–9pm
Venue info: Coming Soon

To become the Ultimate Bartender Champion, the bartender will first have to make it through 7 challenges.

Bartenders are asked 100 multiple-choice questions, drawing on bartending and liquor industry knowledge. The questions are asked in rapid concession so there is no time to Google!

Challengers receive 20 recipes built using elements from the Mixiodic Table. They have 2 minutes to decode the ingredients and provide the proper cocktail name.

The task is to pour ten precise measures into ten cocktail shakers. Bartenders have 95 seconds to do it and each correct measure gets one point. They can choose to free pour or use a jigger, but equipment can be as much a hindrance as a help when it comes to speed & accuracy.

This round tests sense of smell. Challengers must identify 10 various spirits and liqueurs from black tasting glasses. This round consists of 2 minutes to blind nose all liquids and guess the contents.

The professionals know that the better you can stock take, the earlier you can close up and go home. In this round, challengers will be shown 10 spirits bottles each containing differing amounts of liquid to represent a real stock count. They have 10 minutes to establish how much is left (to one decimal point) and use the provided wholesale equation to work out the value of the holding stock.

This round is about establishing a clear standard of service. To win this round, challengers must take drink orders for 10 customers and serve the correct drink to the correct person.

After tallying all the points in the previous rounds, the top 3 contestants will face up for the final challenge. In this timed round, bartenders must craft a mélange of 8 cocktails. The host will announce the requested cocktails and then the challengers will have 2 minutes of prep time, 5 minutes to shake and stir all 8 cocktails, and 2 minutes and 15 seconds to serve all the drinks correctly (including garnish and napkin). 15 seconds will be added to your time for each drink that is wrongly constructed, missing ingredients, improperly served, or deemed unworthy by decision of your fellow bartenders. The fastest time wins.

To register for the competition or for more information, please see: