TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition - Highball

Tales of the Cocktail® 2019 Official Cocktail Competition

The Highball

This year, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation opened up the choice of the Official Cocktail Competition to the public. For $1 donation per vote, the global hospitality community was able to make a donation to the Foundation and cast their vote for one of five cocktails: Spritz, Mai Tai, Swizzle, Negroni, or Highball. The Highball dominated the competition, becoming the cocktail for Tales of the Cocktail 2019 Official Cocktail Competition.

Highballs are tall, simple cocktails that require a lot of care. At its foundation, the Highball is a base spirit topped with a larger proportion of a carbonated mixer in a large glass with ice -- however, the rules are few but the possibilities are endless. Upscale highballs are one of the largest cocktail trends, lending itself perfectly for the Tales of the Cocktail 2019 Official Cocktail and the TOTC 2019 theme: Cultivate.

Cultivate reflects how the Foundation strives to actively engage our partners and participants to stimulate thought leadership and foster meaningful connections within the hospitality industry. The goal is to create a lasting impact that elevates the craft, creates opportunities for growth and reinforces a commitment to continued learning. The Highball perfectly pairs with this year’s theme; simply, your craft is worth the work.

All recipes must include a base spirit, a carbonated mixer, and a garnish. After that, let your creativity lead the way. The winning bartender will receive a cash prize and be honored at Tales of the Cocktail 2019 for reinventing a classic.


Follow these guidelines when concocting your submission to the 2019 Official Cocktail Competition:


  1. Each recipe must utilize at least 2 ingredients from the list of participating products.
  2. Highball must be served in a highball style glass.
  3. All recipes must include a base spirit, a carbonated mixer, and a garnish.
  4. Entry must be in the form of a photo and/or 90-120 second video highlighting creativity, style of service, and hospitality (“hospitality is the best garnish for any cocktail”).
  5. The base/featured spirit MUST come from the list of participating products.
  6. Bartenders can layer and split spirits as they see fit.
  7. No more than 5 ingredients (including garnish) per recipe.
  8. Homemade ingredients are welcomed but must be easily replicable.

Timeline for the Tales of the Cocktail Official Cocktail Competition 2019:

  • May 14, 2019: Competition goes live on TalesoftheCocktail.org
  • June 3, 2019: Deadline to submit recipes
  • June 14, 2019: Winner and top three announced
  • July 16, 2019: Winner presented with a check at Toast to Tales Kick-Off Press Event


SUBMIT YOUR RECIPE


Tales 2019

Rules for the Tales of the Cocktail Official Cocktail Competition:

    • This Competition is open to ANY bartender currently working in the bar, restaurant or spirits industry. (US & International)
    • This is an online competition. You do not need to be present to compete or win.
    • Each participant shall use the official entry form online.
    • Recipe submissions shall be original creations.
    • Recipes shall be expressed in ounces, drops, or dashes and scaled for a single serving.
    • Each recipe must utilize at least 2 ingredients from the list of participating products.
    • The base/featured spirit MUST come from the list of participating products.
    • You may use more than one spirit in your cocktail, however, the featured spirit must come from the list of participating products.
    • The recipe must include a detailed description of the garnish if there is one.
    • All ingredients utilized should be expected to be available to most bars or easily acquired/made.
    • All ingredients should be available year-round, so nothing too seasonal. And all ingredients should be obtainable — or should be able to be made from scratch — without undue difficulty or expense anywhere within the continental US.
    • Cocktails made with inappropriate ingredients will be disqualified with the determination of what constitutes an inappropriate ingredient up to the discretion of the staff of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and the judging committee.
    • Cocktails will be judged on Originality, Use of Product, Taste, and Presentation.
    • Submissions should include a photo of cocktail and/or 90-120 second video.

TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Tony Abou-Ganim (Las Vegas, NV) - The Modern Mixologist
Tony Abou-Ganim (Las Vegas, NV) - The Modern Mixologist

TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Lisa Nguyen (New Orleans, LA) General Manager, The Elysian Bar
Lisa Nguyen (New Orleans, LA) General Manager, The Elysian Bar

TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Paige Aubort (Syndey, Australia) - Founder and Director, Coleman's Academy
Paige Aubort (Syndey, Australia) - Founder and Director, Coleman's Academy

TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Ryan Gannon (New Orleans, LA), Bar Manager, Cure
Ryan Gannon (New Orleans, LA), Bar Manager, Cure

TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Masahiro Urushido (New York, NY), Head Bartender / Managing Partner, Katana Kitten
Masahiro Urushido (New York, NY), Head Bartender / Managing Partner, Katana Kitten
TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Mia Johansson (London, UK) Owner & GM, Swift
Mia Johansson (London, UK) Owner & GM, Swift
TOTC2019 Official Cocktail Competition Judge - Daniel Victory (New Orleans, LA) Owner, Victory and the New Orleans Drinklab
Daniel Victory (New Orleans, LA) Owner, Victory and the New Orleans Drinklab


First prize-winner will receive $1,000 cash and their recipe will be named the “Official Cocktail” of Tales of the Cocktail 2019.

The “Official Cocktail” winner will be honored at the Toast to Tales of the Cocktail on Tuesday, July 16.

The winning recipe will be featured on TalesoftheCocktail.org and featured in the Tales of the Cocktail newsletter and all of our social networks.