The world’s largest LGBTQ bartending competition and show is back for its 6th year.
Your favorite LGBTQ bartending celebration, the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, is back for another fabulous year. The event honors the legacy of gay bars as pioneering community centers for LGBTQ people, and celebrates the work of nightlife professionals who continue to advocate for visibility.
In 2019, Stoli and the Key West Business Guild have reunited to present the 6th annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic. This year’s contest kicked off Wednesday, March 6, in Dallas and will conclude with the annual Key West Pride week finale June 4-10 in Key West, Florida. This year’s theme is “Visibility: Making It Loud and Clear”, which echoes Stoli’s global brand campaign.
Since 2010, Patrik Gallineaux has had the responsibility of being the North American LGBT Manager and Ambassador for Stoli Group USA. Gallineaux is the producer and host of the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic. With more than 25 years of experience in the spirits, nightlife, and hospitality industries, Gallineaux brings fun, enthusiasm and heart to the competition. “For six years now, the Cocktail Classic has recognized bartenders and establishments that celebrate gay bars as the original safe spaces for the LGBTQ community,” said Gallineaux. “I’m looking forward to seeing how participants integrate ‘Loud and Clear’ into their presentations. While the creative directions differ by city and by competitor each year, the result is consistent in the end: a close-knit group of LGBTQ bartenders from across the country who become friends for life.”
In addition to the life-changing experiences our bartenders receive, all prize money is won for hometown charities our bartenders select to play for as well as paired charities in Key West; this year $25K total will be won for charity with $80k through the program to date”
The rules of the contest are simple: participants go head to head and present their best Stoli-based cocktails. Throughout the evening, each bartender is judged on multiple rounds including pre-show audience blind sampling, audience text to vote, and by a panel of celebrity judges who assess each presentation, and give feedback in real time during the live show.
Each bartender is judged onstage not just on the quality of their cocktail, but also on their personal creativity, stage presence, knowledge of key west and the Stoli brand, and by presenting in some way to this year’s theme. What makes this competition different is that one need not necessarily consider themselves a “master mixologist to compete”, and that the bartender him/herself matters to the score just as much as making an amazing Stoli cocktail.
How to Participate
For more information about the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic including how to apply, rules, guidelines, and 2018 and 2019 winning cocktail recipes, visit ollow along on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #loudandclear, #stolipride and #stolikeywest.
To see how competitors scored from each event, visit keywestresults.com, and be sure to vote for your favorite Bar Star from May 22 to May 30 in the Fan Favorite Voting Phase. The two bartenders with the most votes receive immunity from elimination in Key West and proceed directly to the Pride Main Stage Finale on June 8.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Host: The Round-Up Saloon and Dance Hall
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. CST
Finalist: Joshua Cole Simmons
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Host: MJ’s on Jefferson
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Antwan Ford
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Host: Nellie’s Sports Bar
Date: Monday, March 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Antonio Troia
Location: Los Angeles, California
Host: The Abbey Food and Bar
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PST
Finalist: Tamara Malais
Location: Wilton Manors, Florida
Host: Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Jon Marante
Location: New York, New York
Host: Boxers NYC Washington Heights
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Sam Benedict
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Host: Boxers PHL
Date: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Eddie Gatti
Location: San Diego, California
Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Finalist: Bobby Vargas
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Host: Oz New Orleans
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 9 p.m. CDT
Finalist: Drew Kingswell
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Host: Club Cafe Boston
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT
Finalist: Michael Goodis
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Host: Club Unity
Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. CDT
Finalist: Damon Bold
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. CDT
Finalist: Robb Godek
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Host: Midtown Moon
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT
Finalist: Brian Willis
Location: San Francisco, California
Host: Hamburger Mary’s
Date: Monday, May 20, 2019 at 7 p.m. PST
Finalist: David Facer
All prizing courtesy of the Key West Business Guild.
Must be 21+ to compete or attend in the United States; 19+ in Canada.
For more information or to RSVP to attend an event near you, visit Facebook.com/StoliKeyWest.