Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces the 2023 Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) Class

Posted on: May. 08, 2023 | | By: Aly Velasquez

40 CAP apprentices have been selected for the TOTCF 2023 Class

NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 8, 2023) — Since 2008, the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) has hosted more than 400 apprentices who have gained valuable experience working and managing large-scale, high-volume events during the annual Tales of The Cocktail conference (TOTC). This year, 40 accomplished and up-and-coming bartenders have earned the opportunity to become Red Coat CAPs and learn alongside some of the world’s most respected bartenders and cocktail experts as apprentices, assisting with seminars and events at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans from July 23-28, 2023. In partnership with VinePair, CAPs official media partner, TOTCF is pleased to announce this year’s CAP class. 

First-year CAPs will work together under an assigned “Grey Coat” mentor to prep and execute cocktails and tastings presented during seminars as well as the, Singapore Residency, Catalyst Luncheon, Spirited Awards ceremony, and other headlining events taking place at TOTC’s 2023 host venue, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

“2022 was a benchmark year for the CAP program coming off of the two-year COVID hiatus,” said CAP Director, Trevor Kallies. “With this July being the 15th Anniversary of the Cocktail Apprentice Program, we are extremely excited for another Tales of the Cocktail at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. This year we saw close to 500 applications from over 20 different countries. With 2023 bringing The Cocktail Apprentice Program back to the full team size, we have selected 40 new Apprentices. We also have a mix of 20 new and veteran Grey Coats. 2023 also brings us promotions of four CAPs new to the Black Coat role as well as two CAPs that have been promoted to White Coats. 2023 is looking to be a phenomenal year of growth and transition for the CAP team.”

This year’s incoming class, known as Red Coats, represents a broad geographical area, and new CAPs hail from eight countries and 19 states. Apprentices were selected through a competitive process that considers recipe submissions, professional experience, and the ability to work with a fast-paced, global team. The team was selectively chosen in order to promote global diversity and ensure that a balance exists between newer and experienced professionals.

These first-time apprentices will be joined by an experienced group of veteran apprentices, who will use their previous experiences to lead this year’s program. Throughout the festival, apprentices can be identified by the color of their chef coats: white for managers, black for assistant managers, grey for leaders, and red for first-time apprentices.

By working directly with seminar presenters, program apprentices hone their skills while simultaneously learning about both the history and future of their craft. After the festival, apprentices are able to apply their new skills to their home and work environments, making the experience of being a CAP member a long-term investment. In addition to technical skills, the valuable professional connections and the team camaraderie fostered during the event have been consistently praised by former members as the most valuable assets the program has given them.

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation would like to thank our generous annual supporters of the Cocktail Apprentice Program: Campari, Crown Royal, Maison Courvoisier, and Pernod Ricard USA.

2023 Red Coat Apprentices

SC Baker
Louisville, KY

Katanas Blade
Hanah Detroit
Detroit, MI

Brendon Bos
Padre & Mezcalero
Long Beach, CA

Pete Browne
Five Acres
New York, NY

Zen Castro
Espiritu Mezcaleria
New Orleans, LA

Alina Lucia Cichozki
Flying Dutchmen Cocktails
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Joe Coleman
Doublespeak Cocktails
Aquebogue, NY

Thumper Cooper
The Jones Assembly
Oklahoma City, OK

Warren Corazzini
Tiki Chick
New York, NY

Kelly Dcruz
The Secret Mermaid

Leah DuFresne
Cocktails and Grace
Las Vegas, NV

Tyler Fernberg
Quarters Bar and Arcade
Salt Lake City, UT

Ashley Flynn
The Drake Hotel
Toronto, ON, Canada

Jackson Gracy
Bay Harbor Yacht Club
Petoskey, MI

Seth Hiravy
Chez Zou
New York, NY

Zoo Holmström
Los Angeles, CA

Gaby Holzer
Thyme X Table
Cleveland, OH

Matt Huntley
​​High West Distillery
Park City, UT

Scott Jenkins
The Stock Room
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Cheech Kinsway
Market Bar
Dublin, OH

Corrie Levis
La Otra
Tel Aviv, Israel

Augusto Lino
Noir at The Charles Hotel
Cambridge, MA

Kai Lucas
European Bartender School
New York City, NY

Tyler MacLellan
Three Dots and a Dash
Chicago, IL

Jon Mateer
TPC Sawgrass
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Sarah LM Mengoni
Historically Drinking / Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
Los Angeles, CA

Sebastián Montero
Arco Cocktail Lounge
Savannah, GA

Alexie Myles
Mystic Restaurant and Bar
Manchester, VT

Jessica Neblina
Employees Only Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Lauren Pileggi
Tuco’s Taco Lounge
Sudbury, ON, Canada

Antoinette Rangel
Sugar Monk
New York, NY

Daniel Reylock
Raines Law Room / Thyme Bar
New York, NY

Joel Spencer
Wildjac Spirits
Bewdley, UK

Nicole Stankovic
Emerald City Cocktails
Seattle, WA

Andre Sykes
Detroit, MI

Brandon Thrash
Middle Child Clubhouse
Philadelphia, PA

Sabrina Touzel
Restaurant Foxy
Montréal, QC, Canada

Jessica Westergom
Beauty & Essex NY
New York, NY

Cynthia Wong
Resonance by Heston Blumenthal, Atlantis The Royal
Dubai, UAE

Viktoria Zolotoverkhaya
Bar Neiro / OXI Club
Berlin, Germany

2023 Grey Coat Apprentices:

Jen Akin
Seattle, WA

Israel Barón
Casa Prunes CDMX
Mexico City, Mexico

Skipper Bonano
Freelance Bartender
Renvo, NV

Dylan Brentwood
Bar Kismet
Halifax, NS, Canada

Linda Douglas
Cocktail Academy
Los Angeles, CA

Kai Duarte
Pacifico on The Beach
Wailuku, HI

Glenn Eldridge
ROKA Dubai
Dubai, UAE

Tim Frandsen
The Little Gay Pub
Washington, DC

Aaron Hatchell
S&V Uptown
Waterloo, ON, Canada

Arianna Hone
High West Saloon / Post Office Plac
Park City, UT

Delena Humble-Fischer
Sin Muerte
Phoenix, AZ

Rylen Komeiji
Caviar Bar Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

Themos Kontodimas
Pernod Ricard Hellas
Athens, Greece

Ronnie Lopez
San Francisco, CA

Evan McNeil
Sovereign Wine & Spirits
Halifax, NS, Canada

Jacob Mentel
Wormwood / Secret Garden
San Diego, CA

Vito Morales
Los Angeles, CA

Allie Phifer
The Collins Bar
Birmingham, AL

Joey Smith
Zou Zous / Chez Zou
New York City, NY

Ivan Villegas
The NoMad Hotel, London
London, UK

2023 Black Coat Apprentices:

Hagay I. Abramovitz
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar
Tel Aviv, Israel

Samantha Casuga
Temple Bar
New York, NY

Richie Delahoyde
Stillgarden Distillery
Dublin, Ireland

Sarah Syman
The Dandy Crown
Chicago, IL

2023 White Coat Apprentices:

Alexis Belton
F&B Consultant
Chicago, IL

Cris Dehlavi
Diageo Hospitality Partnership
Columbus, OH

Kaleena Goldsworthy*
Proof Incubator and Maven Table
Chattanooga, TN

Trevor Kallies
Freehouse Collective
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Juyoung Kang
Fontainebleau Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

Alex Lerman*
Nine Orchard Hotel
New York, NY

*denotes Jr. White Coat

CAP Advisor:
John Deragon
Brooklyn, NY

CAPs Ongoing Opportunities

After Tales of the Cocktail 2023 concludes, CAP members will be eligible to apply for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program when the application reopens in January 2024. Founded by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, the Scholarship Program has annually helped former apprentices pursue further learning opportunities over the past ten years. After undergoing a rigorous selection process, former apprentices are selected to receive funding for a wide variety of projects, from those designed to further their career to those designed with the intent to educate the cocktail community.

For more information about the Cocktail Apprentice Program, please visit the TOTCF website.


About Tales of the Cocktail

Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques. 

About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and creates a lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make a lasting impact in the communities that host our events.

About VinePair

VinePair is the largest digital media company delivering accessible, entertaining, and inspiring content about drinks culture and important trends and topics in wine, beer, and spirits. We offer award-winning consumer coverage on VinePair and trade stories on VP Pro. Our motto, “Drinking is Culture” means we celebrate the experiences you have and the connections you make with a glass in hand.

For Media Inquiries:

Gia Vecchio

[email protected] 


Hunter Smith

[email protected]


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