Industry News

2015 Cocktail Apprentice Team

Cocktail Apprentices will have the opportunity to learn alongside renowned mixology experts during this summer’s Tales of the Cocktail® festival

NEW ORLEANS—May 20, 2015—Tales of the Cocktail® is proud to announce its 2015 class of the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP), sponsored by BarSmarts® and Pernod Ricard USA. “Pernod Ricard is extremely excited to sponsor the 2015 Tales of the Cocktail® Program. The CAP program is the industry's leading apprenticeship program, founded on the principals of team building and craftsmanship, which is why it is the perfect fit for BarSmarts. Together we are helping to educate and inspire the future leaders of our industry” said Chris Patino, Director of Brand Education at Pernod Ricard USA.

Forty accomplished bartenders from around the world were selected to learn alongside some of the world’s most respected mixologists as they work the seminars and large-scale events at Tales of the Cocktail® 2015. These first-time apprentices will be joined by an experienced group of managers, assistant managers and leaders who will use their apprentice experience in leading 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 apprentices.

“Every class of apprentices is truly unique. The talents they bring. The regions of the world they represent. I cannot wait until we bring this group of incredibly talented bartenders together,” said Paul Tuennerman, Co-Founder of Tales of the Cocktail. “After the week here at Tales, they’ll have a whole new set of experiences to take home with them.”

The Tales of the Cocktail® Apprentice Program was developed in 2008 to give talented bartenders the opportunity to apprentice with skilled veterans to further hone their craft. Working directly with presenters during the highly sought after seminars, the program gives participants an opportunity to work on large scale events while learning first-hand about their craft’s history and its new directions. Apprentices continue to take these skills to new achievements in their home bars and personal work following Tales of the Cocktail®. The team camaraderie and dynamics they learn and foster during this week have also become some of the most valuable tools that apprentices carry on with them.

"The CAP program has had a profound influence on both my personal and my professional life. This program has given me the confidence to take a leap of faith professionally and move into an ambassadorial role. More importantly it has helped me be a stronger, kinder and more thoughtful human being. For this I am eternally grateful." said Zahra Bates, CAP Leader.

This year there were an outstanding number of applicants from 35 states and 10 countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, U.K. and U.S. Apprentices were selected based on recipe submissions, teamwork and experience level within the industry. The team was designed to ensure a balance and diversity between both lifelong bartenders and those newer to the industry.

“The thing that excites me the most about having the opportunity to participate in the CAP 2015 class is working beside people from all over the world who are as passionate about this industry as I am.” said Bazil Zerinsky, Cocktail Apprentice.

After serving at this year’s festivities, this year’s apprentices will be eligible for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program. In 2010, Tales of the Cocktail® founded a $30,000 annual scholarship program developed exclusively for former cocktail apprentices to pursue additional learning opportunities. Following an extensive multi-step selection process, former apprentices are chosen to receive funding for projects ranging from expanding career experiences to educating the cocktail community.

For more information about the Cocktail Apprentice Program as well as bios for the 2015 CAP team, visit


Cris Dehlavi M Restaurant Columbus, Ohio, USA

Don Lee

Cocktail Kingdom

New York, New York, USA

John Deragon Casa Tranquila New York, New York, USA

Leo Robitschek NoMad Hotel New York, New York, USA

Trevor Kallies Donnelly Group Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN

Mike Ryan Kimpton Hotels Chicago, Illinois, USA


Karah Carmack The Monterey San Antonio, Texas, USA

Eryn Reece

Death & Company

New York, New York, USA

Jenner Cormier Bar Raval Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Alex Renshaw Bordel Chicago, Illinois, USA

Nathan O’Neil Dandelyan London, England, UK

Ciaran Wiese Agustin Kitchen Tucson, Arizona, USA


Zahra Bates Courvoisier Los Angeles, California, USA

Chris Lowder

NoMad Hotel

New York, New York, USA

Emily Burns Rye Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Christina Maffei Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Justin Lane Briggs Brooklyn & Burlington New York, New York, USA

Robert Murphy Chicago, Illinois, USA

Logan Demmy Mouton Columbus, Ohio, USA

John Nugent Re:public Seattle, Washington, USA

Joy Flanagan Armsby Abbey Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Antonio Parlapiano Jerry Thomas Project Rome Rome, Italy

Samuel Gauthier Boilermaker New York, New York, USA

Andrea Tateosian Urbana Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Alex Gregg Moving Sidewalk Houston, Texas, USA

Angel Teta Araula/Angel’s Envy Portland, Oregon, USA

Dean Hurst Haven Restaurant Tampa, Florida, USA

Scott Tipton Liquid Minded Concepts Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Laura Kelton Fulton Market Kitchen Chicago, Illinois, USA

Mariangela Urquizo Interval San Francisco, CA, USA

Jessica Lambert The Dawson Chicago, Illinois, USA

Hannah Waters 28 HongKong St Singapore


Melanie Aumais Maison Sociale Montreal, Quebec, CAN

Antonio Lai


Hong Kong

Jad Ballout Central Station Boutique Bar Lebanon

Naomi Leslie Dear Irving New York, New York, USA

Raffaele Bellomi Archivio Verona, Italy

Claudia Lombardozzi Jerry Thomas Project Rome, Italy

J Scott Birch Peche Austin, Texas, USA

Sam Lyden Presidio Chicago, Illinois, USA

Miranda Breedlove Broken Shaker Chicago Chicago, Illinois, USA

Kristina Magro Fulton Market Kitchen Chicago, Illinois, USA

Madison Burch Seven Lamps/Tavern Pointe Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Bridget Maloney Witness Bar and Tavern Law Seattle, Washington, USA

Jodi Calderon Osso Los Angeles, California, USA

Elliot Mizuki Polite Provisions San Diego, California, USA

Amanda Carto Butterjoint Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Rebecca Monday Curio Columbus, Ohio, USA

Clairessa Chaput Franklin Cafe Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Andy Nelson Finch and Fork Santa Barbara, California, USA

Chris Cleary The Squeaky Bean Denver, Colorado, USA

Daniel O’Connell Presidio Chicago, Illinois, USA

Pietro Collina NoMad Bar New York, New York, USA

Steven Santillan The Esquire Tavern San Antonio, Texas, USA

Tom Dufek Merchant Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Brendan Schatti Thoroughbred Food and Drink Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Justin Duffin Ginger Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Jack Schramm Booker and Dax New York, New York, USA

Aisling Gammill Drink.Well.& Whisler’s Austin, Texas, USA

Berit Jane Soli-Holt Felinia Bar Mexico, Districto Federal, MX

Harrison Ginsberg The Dawson Chicago, Illinois, USA

Carlos Soto Jules Basement Mexico City, Mexico

Anna-Korine Hada PDT New York, New York, USA

Diane Vandenbroucke Red House Paris, France

Christian Hurtado Mezon Tapas Bar & Neat Westport, Connecticut, USA

Jesse Vida The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog New York, New York, USA

Jennifer Jarvis Roux Louisville Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Adil Yamin Adil Detroit, Michigan, USA

Benjamin Jeffers ABV San Francisco, California, USA

Taeeun Yoon THE BEASTRO Seoul, South Korea

Juyoug Kang BLVD Cocktail Company Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Bazil Zerinsky Treaty Oaks Distilling Co. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

About Tales of the Cocktail®

The Spirits Are Calling. Will you answer? They’re calling you to New Orleans for five days of seminars, tastings, product launches, competitions, networking events and so much more at the world's premier professional cocktail event. By just being a part of this spirited gathering you’ll help your fellow cocktail professionals around the world. Funds from Tales of the Cocktail® are invested back into the industry through scholarships, tuition reimbursements, training programs and financial aid. So join us as the international spirits community answers the call, returning for another spirited round of Tales of the Cocktail®.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number of events including Tales of the Cocktail®, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour, and Tales of the Toddy® with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.

About Pernod Ricard USA®

Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA, which employs a workforce of nearly 19,000 people worldwide and is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI). The company’s leading spirits and wines include such prestigious brands as Absolut® Vodka, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod®, Ricard® and Avión™ Tequila; such superior wines as Jacob's Creek®, Kenwood® Vineyards and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines.

Pernod Ricard USA is based in New York, New York, and has roughly 850 employees across the country. Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit:




Ann Tuennerman, 504-948-0511,


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