Home is Where the Heart Is – Bartender Competition

Azunia Organica Skinny Organic Margarita

Show us the flavors, memories, and traditions of your hometown in our “Home is Where the Heart Is” bartending competition. Create a cocktail that reflects your roots, your home, and the traditions that make it special.

8 finalists will be entered in the Live Competition at Mi Corazon in LA on December 10th for a shot at the grand prize: Your cocktail sent to thousands of Saloonbox subscribers, a video on Licensed to Distill’s Instagram feed with over 1 Million subscribers, PLUS a $500 VISA gift card!

Azuñia is proud to produce one of the few single-estate, USDA-certified tequilas, hand-crafted by our family in the heart of Mexico. We’re seeking a bartender who can express the love for his or her home through a cocktail that’s just as unique.

Home is Where the Heart Is Bartender Competition Details


  • Must currently be an active bartender in Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego
  • 1.0 oz minimum use of Azuñia Tequila
  • 7 ingredients or less, including garnish
  • Must provide method for house-made ingredients
  • 1 paragraph for your cocktail’s inspiration and why your cocktail represents the theme
  • Must be available to compete in Los Angeles, CA at the live competition Dec 10, 2018

How to Enter:

Competition entry is now closed.

Home is Where the Heart Is Live Competition Details:
December 10, 2018, 1 pm – 5 pm
Mi Corazon, 2609 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Live Event Details:

Come and watch the bartenders show off their skills and enjoy wonderful drinks at Mi Corazon. $1 of all cocktails sold during the Live Competition will go to the Campfire Giftcard Campaign to support the residents of Paradise, CA. For more information on the fundraiser or to donate now, visit the Campfire Gift Card Campaign.

Competition Timeline:

  • Submissions due by November 12, 2018
  • 8 finalists announced by November 26, 2018
  • Live Competition is December 10, 2018


Grand Prize: Saloon Box Feature, Licensed to Distill video, a $500 VISA gift card, plus a bottle of Azuñia Black, 2-year Extra Aged, Private Reserve Añejo

Second Place: $250 a VISA gift card, plus a bottle of Azuñia Black, 2-year Extra Aged, Private Reserve Añejo

Third Place: $100 VISA gift card, plus a bottle of Azuñia Black, 2-year Extra Aged, Private Reserve Añejo

Cocktails will be judged based on:

  1. Visual Appeal: 25% – Do your eyes make you want to drink the cocktail before you even taste it?
  2. Creativity: 25% – Is the recipe original? Does it reflect the theme?
  3. Taste: 50% – Does this recipe taste great with every sip? Is it balanced?

Meet your judges:

Charity Johnston  

Beverage Director The Madera Group. Receiving the Zagat 30 under 30 award at the start of her career, Charity has no doubt made a huge impact in the Food and Beverage industry. She has worked alongside Gordon Ramsay, Jason Eisner, and Chris Hugh’s and her passion truly shows with the outcome of her work. She began her career at the young age of 21 when she decided to enter this industry as a bartender in Los Angeles. Her keen sense of flavor and taste has led her passion to become a full-time career and never stops experimenting. Though she has found being a woman in a heavily dominated male industry to be a challenge it has not stopped her from progressing.

For more on Charity, follow her on Instagram.

Charles Lew Charles is a lawyer, restaurateur, and consultant who owns and operates multiple hospitality concepts across the United States. Charles is recognized as one of the city’s leading experts on not only the operational aspects of restaurants but the equally important although lesser understood licensing, permitting and zoning of hospitality venues. He has appeared on the podcasts Entrepreneur on Fire, Restaurant Unstoppable, and Theater of the Courtroom and has been featured in The Los Angeles Business Journal as “Best Up-and-Coming Restaurant Developer.” He has appeared in FLAUNT magazine’s “Power Hour” with a title reference “nightlife impresario.” And appeared in published editorials in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Signature Magazine, and The Huffington Post to name a few.

For more on Charles, follow him on Instagram.

Aida Mollenkamp 

Aida is a food and travel expert, author, chef, and on-camera host.  She is the founder of the travel company for food lovers, Salt & Wind Travel, which provides travel planning services and hosts group trips to California, Mexico, and Italy. Aida studied at the Cornell Hotel School and Le Cordon Bleu Paris before joining CHOW Magazine where she worked as Food Editor. Aida then moved to television and hosted the Food Network show, Ask Aida, FoodCrafters on the Cooking Channel, In The Pantry on Yahoo!, and the TasteMade series, Off Menu. Her cookbook, Keys To The Kitchen, is a go-to for home cooks who want to become more adventurous. Aida founded Salt & Wind in 2015 to help food lovers taste the world.

For more on Aida, follow her on Instagram.

Please read Where the Heart Is Bartending Competition Rules for a list of complete rules and regulations.

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