Sam Benedict came to Key West to win, and he did.
On June 9, 2019, Sam Benedict, a bartender at Club Cumming in New York City, won the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic competition. The contest was held outdoors on Duval Street and hosted by Stoli LGBT Manager and Ambassador Patrik Gallineaux.
The competition’s judges included former NSYNC singer Lance Bass, American Idol finalist LaToya London, comedian Bruce Vilanch and the drag diva Sushi. The judges assessed the cocktails on their look, smell, balance, and flavor, as well as the Bar Star’s showmanship.
Stoli declared Sam Benedict the winner and North America’s No. 1 bartender for his delicious custom cocktail called the Key Key. The delightful concoction mixes Stoli Vanil, coconut mil, egg whites, bitters, pineapple juice, and the juice from Key limes to create an impressive combination.
Benedict told the Miami Herald, “Never having been to Key West, I had to do a lot of homework, and Key lime pie was my first stop. I started messing around with Key lime flavors, and this is what I came up with.”
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Congratulations to the sixth @stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Champion, Sam Benedict (aka @gingersammynyc) of @ClubCumming in NYC! 🤴 . We’d also like to congratulate all of the bartenders who competed and demonstrated the importance of visibility. . Cheers to a fantastic season! 🥂 . #StoliPride #LoudAndClear
In addition to taking home the title of Stoli’s North American champion, Benedict won $10,000 for his hometown charity, Gays Against Guns, and $5,000 for Habitat for Humanity, his chosen Key West charity. Benedict and the finalists were selected through two elimination rounds that starred 14 regional winners competing on the open-air stage.
To catch up on the 2019 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, watch the full program below in two parts!