Stuart Fritz Wins Domaine de Canton's 2011 Bartender of the Year
(Miami, Florida)—Domaine de Canton concluded its prestigious Bartender of the Year competition on Monday June 6, awarding the $10,000 grand prize to Londoner Stuart Fritz, bar manager at the London Academy of Bartenders (LAB). The finals, which took place at La Samanna Luxury Resort and Spa in French St. Martin, consisted of several challenges that measured the contenders’ knowledge, creativity and ability to perform under pressure. Fritz was up against an esteemed and talented selection of American mixologists in the final round: Halle Bruno of Bluepoint Grille in Cleveland; Mathais Simonis of Distil Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisc.; Josh Harris of Bon Vivant, San Francisco; and Claire Sprouse of Grand Prize Bar, 1010 Banks, Houston, Texas.
In addition to a take-home prize of $10,000 and the coveted title of Bartender of the Year for Domaine de Canton, Fritz will judge next year’s competition. Previous winners were John Lermayer (2009), a Chuck O’Conner Scholarship (BAR) recipient and head bartender at the Florida Room (named one of the top ten cocktail bars in the country by USA Today); and Sean Kenyon (2010), a BAR-ready graduate who has managed prestigious bars and cocktail programs across the country. Fritz is the first international competitor in the competition, which is now in its third year. “We are thrilled to crown Stuart Fritz as Bartender of the Year and ecstatic to see that Domaine de Canton is garnering international interest. We hope Fritz’ winning will encourage mixologists worldwide to discover Domaine de Canton and compete in the future,” says John Cooper, founder and owner of Maurice Cooper et Cie, producer and importer of Domaine de Canton.
An iconic panel of four mixology experts and innovators accompanied Cooper to determine the winning recipe: Tobin Ellis from Las Vegas, a five-time national mixology champion, owner of BarMagic and international bar consultant; Aisha Sharpe from New York — co-founder of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc., a global, full-service cocktails and spirits consulting firm with famous bar program credits such as Tao Beach at the Venetian Hotel and BED, NY; Dushan Zaric from New York — co-owner of Employees Only and Macao Trading Co., co-author of You Didn’t Hear It From Us: Two Bartenders Serve Women the Truth about Men, Making an Impression and Getting What You Want and Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined; and Sean Kenyon.
Fritz’ winning recipe:
1 teaspoon Benedictine
1 tablespoon grapefruit juice (fresh)
1 2/3 ounces Domaine de Canton
4/5 ounces Champagne
Serve on the rocks with an orange twist around a sprig of thyme
For more information on Domaine de Canton and to receive information about the 2012 Bartender of the Year completion, please visit http://domainedecanton.com and register or email [email protected]. Submissions will begin in November 2011 for the 2012 Bartender of the Year.