Promoting Hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. World Young Mixologist is a global competition open to all young professional mixologists from any background.
The World Young Mixologist competition, elevated by NEFT Vodka, aims to acknowledge outstanding talent and excellence, not only in the kitchen and front-of-house service but also behind the bar.
In today’s restaurant scene, mixologists have become the new rockstars. Crafting fabulous cocktails, making exquisite food, and providing excellent service are the keys to success. The Young Mixologist competition, designed for individuals aged 28 and younger, aims to recognise the talent and expertise required to craft exceptional cocktails.
Whether you specialise in crafting classics or pushing the boundaries with innovative concoctions, this is the ultimate platform for you to shine. Show us what you’ve got and let your unique style and flavours dazzle the judges.
This is your chance to showcase your skills, creativity, and passion for mixology on a grand stage.
They will participate in a one-day live final which runs alongside the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition. Young Mixologist will be launching in England, USA and Singapore for 2023.
All 13 Finalists (3 England, 3 USA, 3 Monaco & 4 Singapore) will take part in a range of tasks devised by an expert judging panel at their regional finals which will be whittled down to 1 winner for each country who will then go onto compete at the World Finals in Monaco in November.
“The inaugural Young Mixologist Competition Elevated by NEFT Vodka kicked off on Tuesday, July 4th, marking its debut in England. Taking place alongside the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition, three talented mixologists gathered at the University College Birmingham, aspiring to be crowned the Young Mixologist England Winner 2023. Esteemed judges from the forward-thinking hospitality industry were present, including Anna Sebastian, Head Mixologist Judge and Founder of Celebrates Her; Yann Bouvignies, Head of Mixology at Scarfs Bar, Rosewood London; Sandrae Lawrence, Editor for Cocktail Lovers Magazine; and Tyler Zielinski, Hospitality & Bar Journalist. We extend our congratulations to Niamh Preedy from Northcote Hotel, who emerged victorious and will proudly represent England in the World Finals held in Monaco from November 23rd to 24th. Niamh impressed the judges with her winning cocktail named ‘Candy Floss,’ showcasing NEFT Vodka as the key ingredient.
Paul Robinson, Chief Creative Officer of NEFT Vodka said: “NEFT Vodka is proud to support the celebration of young visionaries in the Mixology field. Young Mixologist is a perfect addition to the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition and its fantastic to have an opportunity to work with the many talented mixologists who apply. Niamh’s approach and creativity impressed me from the very start of the competition, and her cocktail ‘Candy Floss’ was a clear winner.”
Young Mixologist England Head Mixologist Judge Anna Sebastian said: “It was an honour to be part of the Young Mixologist England competition for its debut year, and witness such great talent participate. I’m delighted to see Niamh take first place, demonstrating her dedication, passion, and love for the industry. I look forward to her represent the UK in the world final”.
Enter NEFT Vodka. With Its high grade, non-GMO rye and triple copper pot distillation process, this additive free, Austrian vodka provides a rich smooth profile matched by no other. Crafted with only two ingredients, pure Austrian spring water and rye, NEFT can hold its own against any other sipping spirit and is pioneering a growing culture of elite sipping vodkas for trendsetters and spirits connoisseurs alike. NEFT’s versatility makes it exceptional on its own and a unique enhancer to any mixology creation.VIEW NEFT HERE
Founder of Celebrates Her
London based Anna Sebastian set up her own consultancy company at the beginning of 2022 and looks after the likes of Raffles Hotel at OWO, The Savoy and Adam Handlings Restaurant group, She also collaborates with multiple brands to promote and engage with them and new audiences.
With her consultancy company Anna offers a range of services from strategy, venue (re) openings, industry positioning, menu development and design, training, PR and marketing and brand awareness.
Previous to this Anna spent 15 years working at The Savoy and The Langham running the bars and looking after the beverage programmes. During this time Anna won several accolades including several nominations and wins at Tales of the Cocktail including Best international Bar Team at the Beaufort Bar, Imbibe Team of the year, Class Bar Manager of the year, Class menu of the year aswell as leading team in Top 50 Bars List. She also features in CODE most influential women in hospitality and Drinks International Top 100 people in Hospitality.
Drinks Journalist for Punch, Food & Wine and Evening Standard Reveller
Tyler Zielinski is a London-based drinks professional who has spent the last decade working in the bar and beverage industries through a balance of journalism, consulting, content creation and bartending.
He’s best known for his work in drinks journalism, writing for Punch, Class, Evening Standard, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler about a range of topics from bartending technique and cocktail trends, to drinks history and more. And in 2022, he was shortlisted for the IWSC’s Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award.
He’s been featured as a drinks expert in Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Guardian, Metro, and Fast Company, and also judges on an array of panels for bar industry awards, and spirits and cocktail competitions alike.
While he’s not actively bartending after switching gears as a result of the pandemic, he was previously a U.S regional finalist at Woodford Reserve’s Manhattan Experience bartending competition in 2019, as well as an East Coast finalist for Nikka Whisky’s Perfect Serve in the same year. Also in 2019, he helped open natural wine and cocktail bar, Lawrence Park, in Hudson, NY where he served as the creative director, overseeing the cocktail program. In 2021, Tyler was also recognized as a top 4 national U.S finalist in Jack Daniel’s “Try Rye” cocktail competition. In a nutshell, Tyler wears many hats in the bar industry, and can be found sharing his ever-evolving work on his Instagram @bon_vivantito.
Editor at The Cocktail Lovers Magazine
Currently positioned at number 11 in the Bar World 100, Sandrae is one half of The Cocktail Lovers, the eponymous magazine, website, podcast, events and consumer workshops company she runs with her husband Gary Sharpen.
Noted for knowing who’s moving and shaking in the cocktail world,
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine was voted Best Spirits & Cocktail Publications in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2016 and Sandrae was shortlisted for Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in the same year. The Cocktail Lovers podcast has picked up two awards since launching in 2021: Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series: Tales of the Cocktail 2022 and Best Food & Drink Podcast: The Publisher Podcast Awards 2022.
As born and bred Londoners Sandrae and Gary are proud to have been listed on the London Evening Standard The Progress 1000 –
London’s Most Influential People in both 2015 and 2017 and more recently, Sandrae was inducted into the Spirited Awards Dame Hall of Fame.
As well as publishing The Cocktail Lovers Magazine, their work, opinions, and recipes appears in The Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard, Time Out, Christie’s International, Ocado and Delicious magazines and together and separately, they are regularly asked to judge cocktail competitions around the world.
Director of Bars for Caprice Holdings
Born in France, Xavier Landais moved to London in 1999 and joined the Caprice Group in 2001 as Bartender at J Sheekey. He rapidly climbed the ranks and was promoted to Executive Bar Manager for Caprice Holdings and the Birley Group (Annabel’s Clubs) in 2009, a position that was created specially to meet the growing demands of the marketplace. Xavier’s knowledge of product, premium wines and Champagnes is second to none. read more In 2017, Xavier was appointed Director of Bars at Caprice Holdings, overseeing all bars, cocktail and wine listings within the portfolio including for the coveted Sexy Fish London, 34 Mayfair and Daphne’s. In 2021, Xavier oversaw the launch of Sexy Fish in Miami, the brand’s first American outpost, before overseeing the opening of Bacchanalia in Mayfair in 2022.
Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology for Scarfes Bar
Yann Bouvignies has been Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology for Scarfes Bar since July 2022. Bouvignies has over 10 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality and Food & Drinks industry.
Born and raised near Montpellier in France, Bouvignies spent the first few years in the hospitality industry working at the then newly-opened Hotel Le Kaïla in Meribel. He then moved on to La Résidence de la Pinède Hotel in St Tropez. In 2014 he joined The Savoy Hotel in Meribel as assistant bar manager before moving to London to take up a post at cocktail bar Purl in Marylebone. Later that year Bouvignies joined Scarfes as a Bartender and started working under Area Director of Bars Martin Siska’s mentorship.
Under Siska’s tutelage, Bouvignies developed meticulous attention to detail and creative originality, resulting in innovative cocktails that demonstrate exquisite flavour and flair. His passion and hard work paid off and saw Bouvignies promoted to Head Bartender in 2018. Throughout his tenure at Scarfes he has shown great leadership qualities and contributed to lead the bar team to great heights.
Bouvignies is responsible for leading Rosewood London’s cocktail creativity and beverage list development. As well as being a master of mixology Bouvignies also advocates hands-on training and development of the team’s creativity and cocktail making skills.
Bouvignies has played an instrumental part in putting Scarfes Bar on the map within the international bar scene. Throughout his career Bouvignies’ talents have not gone unnoticed, winning industry awards and accolades for both the bar and himself including Best International Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail 2020 Spirited Awards, placing on The World’s 50 Best Bars, Emerging Bartender of the Year and many more. Most recently, Yann Bouvignies was included in The Caterer’s Acorn Awards 2023, 30 under 30.
Within the Rosewood London family and the wider hotel group, Bouvignies is known for his warmth, passion and willingness to support not just his direct team but his colleagues internationally. As a trusted figurehead, Bouvignies has assisted in the reopening of Rosewood Le Guanahani in St Barths. He has also assisted Siska with staff training and seminars, plus guest shifts at other Rosewood properties such as Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Rosewood Baha Mar in Nassau and The Carlyle in New York.
Bouvignies’ career progression is a testament to his ambition, having collaborated in the creation and launch of 6 cocktail menus in six-years. Inspired by his extensive travels, Bouvignies and Siska are passionate about sustainability and works tirelessly to ensure the Scarfes’ signature cocktails have minimum or zero waste.
Bouvignies is also dedicated to supporting new, upcoming bars and brands in the UK and internationally, giving them the platform and visibility at Scarfes Bar to grow and show their talents. He is always looking for ways to bring the bar industry together to build a community amongst bartenders, brands and media. As a result, Bouvignies is often invited around the world to showcase his knowledge at award-winning bars and host creative workshops and seminars on modern techniques and methodology for local teams and industry leaders to take inspiration from.
Creator of the Kagano Bar Pop-Up and Head Bird at Wildhawk SF
Christian "Suzu" Suzuki-Orellana is from the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in Tokyo. Born into the restaurant industry-his grandparents owned and operated a small restaurant company that consisted of four restaurants, read more a cocktail bar, and a ranch that sourced all of the business' produce-Suzu traveled to Japan twice a year starting at the age of 12 to learn about hospitality, food, and management. Whether behind the bar (most notably at 15 Romolo, Tradition, Benjamin Cooper, and Wildhawk) or at cocktail competitions, he strives to take the lessons learned from his grandparents and adapt them to his everyday work, and his creations are heavily inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo. Suzu's career highlights include becoming a National Finalist for Bacardi Legacy (2018), Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender (2020), and one of Punch's Bartenders in Residence (2021); being featured on Imbibe magazine's Imbibe 75 list (2022), received the Rising Star Community Award from StarChefs, and nominated for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation's Bartender of the Year (Top 10, 2022 & 2023); and most recently, competing on Netflix's hit tv show, Drink Masters (2022).
LEAD MIXOLOGIST AND BAR MANAGER AT MORIMOTO NAPA
Josh Weed runs the bar program at Morimoto Napa while leaning into management after first joining the Morimoto restaurant group in 2016 as bar tender. read more Josh got his start behind the bar almost eighteen years ago in Santa Barbara, California after graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 2005. After graduating with a Culinary Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon, Josh joined the team at Masa’s, in San Francisco, where he became a chef de partie at the Michelin starred Bay Area mainstay before departing for Napa in 2012. While working in the wine industry, Josh once again returned to the shaker and jigger for the opening of The Thomas by AvroKO Hospitality Group where he was able to learn from some of the titans of the industry. Since becoming bar manager at Morimoto Napa in 2019, Josh has released seasonal cocktail menus that push the boundaries of creativity and flavor by seeking inspiration from classic culinary dishes from around the world. Shortly after launching the opening cocktail menu with the Morimoto team at the Fairmont in Taghazout Bay, in Morocco Josh left to build two new bar programs from the ground up; The Bitter Bar and, what is known locally, as The Gin Bar. While creating and managing two bar programs with strong and unique identities side by side, Josh learned to expand knowledge of spirits and flavors while delivering two separate experiences on the same block. Josh returned last month to the Morimoto team to take on new challenges. With his culinary experience and travel to nearly fifty countries around the world, Josh brings a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to his bar programs.
My name is Scott Taylor, I currently am the Beverage Director of Harris' Restaurant in San Francisco. read more I moved to San Francisco in 2003 while attending the California Culinary Academy up on graduation I worked in a handful of restaurants as a chef in all aspects of the kitchen. After a few years I transferred to the front of the house where I ran programs in high end restaurants, bars and nightclubs. I have been featured in many articles from Uproxx, Forbes, Food and Wine to Tasting Panel. Judged many bar and wine competitions such as Mendocino Wine Competition and SF International Wine Competition etc...
Half russian half gypsy born in Transylvania, adopted by The States
- in the industry for the last 14 years
- decorated competitor @ multiple mixology & flair bartending competitions
- guest show bartender @ multiple TV shows
Homegrown talent Arathorn Grey is Head Bartender at local dining and drinks institution Tippling Club.
Under the guidance of Owner-Chef Ryan Clift and the leadership team at Tippling Club, Grey has blossomed as a bartender, earning his title as head bartender in two years. He has a talent for bringing forth peoples’ best traits to create a warm and enjoyable space for those on both sides of the bar.
Grey, together with Chef Ryan Clift, have since launched a brand new cocktail menu, A Guide To Modern Drinking Vol. III - 6 Decades Of Music. This menu explores music from the 40’s to the 90’s, each drink inspired by songs from various artists. The musical menu has been extremely well received so far, and has been featured in various drinks magazines and blogs, leaving guests spoiled for choice between the songs and the cocktails. Well-thought out cocktails paired with nostalgic songs creates conversations and overall an unforgettable experience.