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Meet the panelists of the Time Out Miami Bar Awards 2017

Get to know the city's industry experts who are helping us crown the winners of the Time Out Miami Bar Awards 2017
Highball cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

We're still weeks away from finding out who will take home top prize at Time Out Miami's 2017 Bar Awards—which means there's still time to do a little recon and pay a visit to the finalists. We'll be doing the same alongside our talented panel of bartenders and industry pros, who will be helping us select the winners. Curious to find out who will weigh in? Let us introduce you to our experts.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Time Out Miami's Bar Awards


Meet the panelists

Spencer Taliaferro
Photograph: Michael Pisarri

Spencer Taliaferro, lead mixologist at EPIC Hotel and LILT Lounge

Spencer Taliaferro is the lead mixologist at the EPIC Hotel, where he oversees the beverage programs for the on-site cocktail bar LILT Lounge, as well as the property's sustainable seafood restaurant Area 31. His trademark? Ice. He created LILT's In Ice We Trust program, which features flavored cubes and frozen liquor infusions.   

Photograph: Michael Pisarri

Charles Steadman

Charles Steadman, beverage director at 1 Hotel South Beach

Charles Steadman has his hands in all things drink-related at the 1 Hotel. When he's not coming up with new batched drinks for the beach-chic lobby bar, Tom on Collins, he's dreaming up new craft cocktails for Tom Colicchio's Beachcraft and Matthew Kenney's Plnthouse restaurants on site. Charles has curated a program that focuses on international wines, seasonal drinks and craft beers specifically for the hotel.

Leo Holtzman
Photograph: Sergio Naser

Leo Holtzman, owner, SoCal Cantina

Magician-cum-mixologist, Leo Holtzman owns and runs SoCal Cantina in Brickell, where on most days you'll find him serving up all sorts of tequila-based drinks ("it's the best spirit," he says) and entertaining customers with his whimsical talents. His signature? The spicy Gardner’s Margarita.

Cocktail Cartel Co.
Photograph: Gabriel Gutierrez

Eddie Fuentes and Hector Acevedo, beverage developers and founders of Cocktail Cartel Co.

One of Miami's top consulting companies, the Cocktail Cartel has left its footprint on celebrated beverage programs at places like the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Fink Table & Tap and Glass & Vine. Partners Eddie Fuentes, Hector Acevedo and Manuel Picon also consult on projects as far-flung as La Marina in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic.

Photograph: Gabriel Gutierrez 

Bobby Eldridge, Broken Shaker

Robert Eldridge, bar manager at the Broken Shaker

Robert (Bobby) Eldridge is a hospitality vet with more than 10 years of experience as a bar manager. He currently runs the Broken Shaker at the Freehand. In 2014, Bobby was named the People's Choice winner at the annual Pineapple Awards in Miami.

John Lermayer

John Lermayer, co-owner, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company

Award-winning bartender John Lermayer is the man behind Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company, which he co-owns with Dan Binkiewicz and David Martinez. In 2015, he became the first American bartender to participate in the Daquiri King competition at the El Floridita Bar in Cuba. 


Derek Stilmann, partner, Bar Nancy

The former lead bartender at Pawn Broker, Derek Stilmann is now one of several partners and the beverage director at popular Little Havana cocktail den Bar Nancy

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