Bartenders compete to craft the best bourbon cocktails at Manhattan Experience



Nine Ohio bartenders from across the state, including Dayton, brought their bourbon A-game to the Dayton Art Institute yesterday competing in the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience.

The event was one of many regional competitions across the county where bartenders vie to make the best Manhattan and best Woodford Reserve cocktail.


Contestants were scored on a 100-point system and the competition was fierce to show what could be made with two original recipes using Woodford Reserve.

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Last night’s winner, Leanne Kubiez from Western Reserve Distillery in Lakewood, Ohio, is one of 39 finalists who will move on to represent their regional competition during an immersive trip to the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky at the end of April.

Finalists from that event will compete in New York City, where someone will be crowned with the title Master of the Manhattan and given an all-expenses-paid trip to Cocktail Week in London, England.

Kubiez won for her execution of two excellent cocktails.

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Classic 2:1 Manhattan 

Woodford Reserve Bourbon (2 parts)

Carpano (1 part)

Angostura Bitters (5-6 dashes)


Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (3 parts)

Byrrh (.5 parts)

Carpano Antica (.5 parts)

Punch Abruzzo (.25 parts)

Angostura bitters (.5 parts)

Water (.5 parts)

Fee Brother's Plum bitters (4-5 dashes)

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Last year's "Master of the Manhattan” title was given to Chris Enns from Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Bar, in downtown Vancouver.

He won with ‘The Only’ Woodford Manhattan.

60ml Woodford Reserve Rye

22.5ml Vermouth Blend (Equal parts Punt e Mes and Martini Rosso)

7.5ml Luxardo Cherry Sangue Morlacco

2 dash Woodford Reserve Sassafras and Sorghum Bitters

Garnish: Lemon Twist and Cherry

Glass: Nick & Nora / or just ‘up’

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