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New York’s Best Bartender 2015: The top 50 by name

Look through the list below and vote for your favorite New York bartender

By Time Out New York contributors |
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We’re proud to present the top 50 nominees in Time Out New York’s Best Bartender 2015 contest, after a vigorous first round that saw nearly 30,000 votes cast. These elite drink-slingers ply their trade everywhere from dive bars and beer bars to rooftop bars and romantic bars, but one thing unites them (besides alcohol): They all need your support once again. You only have until March 24 to vote on this round, so find your favorite below and make sure to return on April 15 to see who made it into the top 10.

Vote for the best bartender by name: A–D

Alissa May Atkinson

Alissa May Atkinson

Bar: The Way Station

Been a bartender for: 12 years

Signature drink: The Christina Hendricks

The best thing about being a bartender is: The ability to connect with people, share in their celebrations and create a community.

Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey

Bar: Kiabacca

Been a bartender for: 13 years

Signature drink: I'm at a craft beer bar now but I love rocking a classic Manhattan or Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: Story telling, whether it be on the telling or listening side.

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Mashia Baldwin

Mashia Baldwin

Bar: Lexington Brass

Been a bartender for: 20 years

Signature drink: The Rosselle

The best thing about being a bartender is: There are many things I love about bartendeing, but there is nothing like seeing the reaction of your guests and regulars when you make them a new and well balanced cocktail. The best thing about bartending to me, is definitely my guests.

Matthew Belanger

Matthew Belanger

Bar: Donna

Been a bartender for: 4 years

Signature drink: Forbidden Planet

The best thing about being a bartender is: My favorite aspect of bartending has to be working the busiest nights of the weekend.

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Nicholas Bennett

Nicholas Bennett

Bar: Porchlight

Been a bartender for: 13 years

Signature drink: 443 Special

The best thing about being a bartender is: No other profession can bring together the most interesting and diverse individuals into one room.

Joshua Brandenburg

Joshua Brandenburg

Bar: Forty Four at Royalton

Been a bartender for: 10 years

Signature drink: Hickory Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: Seeing someone's excitement at tasting or learning something new.

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Jeremy Buck

Jeremy Buck

Bar: Rôtisserie Georgette

Been a bartender for: 14 years

Signature drink: 60th & Bourbon

The best thing about being a bartender is: Customizing the experience and the flavors for the guest and getting to know them in the process—all in the spirit of creativity and hospitality.

USE THIS

Shawn Chen

Bar: RedFarm

Been a bartender for: 17 years

Signature drink: Nori Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: My ability to evoke nostalgia and deliver surprises in a glass, to allow my customers to experience something new with each sip. Given my Asian American heritage, I especially love to incorporate unexpected ingredients, such as oolong tea, matcha and Japanese nori in my cocktails. It's an incredible feeling to see that my cocktails can bring delight to my customers.

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Ciera Coyan

Ciera Coyan

Bar: The Pony Bar

Been a bartender for: 4 years

Signature drink: I work in craft beer. My signature is helping people find the perfect beer for them!

The best thing about being a bartender is: Besides getting to overhear Tinder dates and trying to figure out who in the bar is going to get laid that night, my favorite thing is people spilling their secrets to me.

Thomasula Davina

Thomasula Davina

Bar: Park Bar

Been a bartender for: 12 years

Signature drink: Manhattan

The best thing about being a bartender is: The characters I meet on a daily basis.

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Francesco Desideri

Francesco Desideri

Bar: Florian

Been a bartender for: 18 years

Signature drink: Diavolo Zafferano

The best thing about being a bartender is: The best thing about being a bartender is being able to represent 'the modern-day alchemist'—mixing nightlife, philosophy, and sensuality with hospitality, charm and good spirit—all garnished with love and passion.

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Vote for the best bartender by name: F–K

Matt Friedlander

Matt Friedlander

Bar: Fool’s Gold

Been a bartender for: 11 years

Signature drink: Ramos Gin Fizz or anything bespoke that a guest and I can come up with

The best thing about being a bartender is: Giving guests an incredible experience while listening to incredible music and working with people I love, i.e. the vibe!

Maria Gentile

Maria Gentile

Bar: The Duplex Piano Bar

Been a bartender for: 29 years

Signature drink: Maria Sangria and the Blackberry Manhattan

The best thing about being a bartender is: My connection with my customers. I hug at least 20 people a night.

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Miguel Govea

Miguel Govea

Bar: Jimmy at the James

Been a bartender for: 10+ years

Signature drink: Vieux Carre

The best thing about being a bartender is: Every night is a fresh opportunity to meet new people or spend time with regular customers—many of whom have become friends. My job is to make sure people have a great night, and that's a real privilege.

Rosie Grillo

Rosie Grillo

Bar: CATCH

Been a bartender for: 10 years

Signature drink: Original Cinn

The best thing about being a bartender is: Some might think that everything has already been done, but—as a bartender—I feel there's no to limit one's creativity.

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Tonia Guffey

Tonia Guffey

Bar: Dram

Been a bartender for: 13 years

Signature drink: Teenage Riot

The best thing about being a bartender is: The people. The flavor. The fact that every single day my job is different. I get to be a psychologist, an artist, a party planner, a DJ, a chef—every day!

Alejandro Hermoso

Alejandro Hermoso

Bar: Music Box

Been a bartender for: 15 years

Signature drink: Fifty Shades of Grey Coctel

The best thing about being a bartender is: Seeing my happy.

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Darnell Holguin

Darnell Holguin

Bar: Bathtub Gin

Been a bartender for: 11 years

Signature drink: Hemingway's Lover

The best thing about being a bartender is: The interactions and energy to share with the room. Keeps building up for a night to remember.

Ignacio Jiminez

Ignacio Jiminez

Bar: The Daily

Been a bartender for: 8 years

Signature drink: Dead Squad

The best thing about being a bartender is: The opportunity to meet new people and customize an experience for them.

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Tammy Kopko

Tammy Kopko

Bar: Branded Saloon

Been a bartender for: 21 years

Signature drink: Piece of Ass

The best thing about being a bartender is: I love talking with cool people, the lonely or confused helping them escape from life. The beaten down PAs or entitled assholes can go to AppleBees (I dont love them).

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Vote for the best bartender by name: L–M

Moses Laboy

Moses Laboy

Bar: Gotham Bar & Grill

Been a bartender for: 20 years

Signature drink: All of them

The best thing about being a bartender is: As the creative mind/mixologist to some of the city's best eateries and bars, I really enjoy the creative aspect of developing seasonal menus. I love the whole process of sourcing fun, unique ingredients and spirits harmonizing them and wowing my guest. 

Sarah Lawrence

Sarah Lawrence

Bar: Hakkasan

Been a bartender for: 15 years

Signature drink: London in Lavender

The best thing about being a bartender is: Hospitality. It's how you make someone feel that they remember most. The exquisite cuisine, impeccably crafted cocktails, decadent ambiance, Michelin star are integral to the experience, but the hospitality is essential.

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Steve Laycock

Steve Laycock

Bar: The Gilroy

Been a bartender for: 10 years

Signature drink: Oaxacan Negroni

The best thing about being a bartender is: Meeting all the great people and being one of the social centers for the community.

Anthony LoPorto

Anthony LoPorto

Bar: Bean Post Pub

Been a bartender for: 20 years

Signature drink: The New Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: Connecting with the neighborhood and its people—whether it’s cheering someone up or cheering someone on.

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Chris Lowder

Chris Lowder

Bar: The Nomad

Been a bartender for: 4 years

Signature drink: Sherry Hurricane

The best thing about being a bartender is: Helping people and making them happy.

Maura McGuigan

Maura McGuigan

Bar: BKB

Been a bartender for: 15 years

Signature drink: Paper Ships

The best thing about being a bartender is: I've been extremely fortunate to have had amazing teachers who have selflessly shared their knowledge with me and empowered me to become a teacher myself.

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Bridget McMillan

Bridget McMillan

Bar: Fanelli's Cafe

Been a bartender for: 8 years

Signature drink: Bloody Mary

The best thing about being a bartender is: Practicing new social skills that I somehow missed growing up in a low-stakes environment with lots of support from my regulars!

Alex McNeely

Alex McNeely

Bar: The Leadbelly

Been a bartender for: 7 years

Signature drink: Smoke Signal Mezcal

The best thing about being a bartender is: The fast pace, unconventional hours with a big social aspect and the chance to exert creative energy every single night.

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Tracey Mellon

Tracey Mellon

Bar: Brother Jimmy’s

Been a bartender for: 6 years

Signature drink: Gin cocktail with St.Germain, pineapple and lemonade

The best thing about being a bartender is: Honestly, I love brightening people's day. So many people get caught up in the negativity of life and I do want I can to make my customers smile, be happy and get messy wasted!

Tim Miner

Tim Miner

Bar: The Long Island Bar

Been a bartender for: 12 years

Signature drink: I'm not sure but I'll probably light it on fire

The best thing about being a bartender is: My office is where people go to have fun!

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Vote for the best bartender by name: N–S

Danny Neff

Danny Neff

Bar: The Bar Room

Been a bartender for: 4 years

Signature drink: The Ransom Buck

The best thing about being a bartender is: Being in a position to interact with new people and having the power to brighten their day.

Erika Ordonez

Erika Ordonez

Bar: The Happiest Hour

Been a bartender for: “Since I was born.”

Signature drink: Anything with Sherry

The best thing about being a bartender is: Being convivial for a living!

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Gates Osuji

Gates Osuji

Bar: Narcissa

Been a bartender for: 23 years

Signature drink: Spanish Fly

The best thing about being a bartender is: Taking care of people and giving them things they never knew they wanted. With a background in photochemistry, I approach cocktails through a science lens. I never know what's trendy/cool, but I do know what sounds delicious. It’s like a magic trick.

Doug Quinn

Doug Quinn

Bar: Hudson Malon

Been a bartender for: 27 years

Signature drink: Sidecar

The best thing about being a bartender is: Show business—the ability to interact with guests and create magic.

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Fabio Raffaelli

Fabio Raffaelli

Bar: Daniel

Been a bartender for: 14 years

Signature drink: Basil Crush

The best thing about being a bartender is: My customers.

Ari Rubenstein

Ari Rubenstein

Bar: Ducks Eatery

Been a bartender for: 9 years

Signature drink: Mezcal Hug

The best thing about being a bartender is: Regulars, high five garnishes, boomerangs and the USBG.

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Joaquin Simo

Joaquin Simo

Bar: Pouring Ribbons

Been a bartender for: 15 years

Signature drink: All things agave

The best thing about being a bartender is: A chance to save the world, one cocktail at a time.

Kacie Sims

Kacie Sims

Bar: Reclamation

Been a bartender for: 9 years

Signature drink: Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: The community and then the whiskey.

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Brooke Smith

Brooke Smith

Bar: The Dead Rabbit

Been a bartender for: 9 years

Signature drink: Nut Job

The best thing about being a bartender is: The best thing about being a bartender is being able to make people's day brighter, or send them out happier than when they came in!

Adam Spetler

Adam Spetler

Bar: Morandi

Been a bartender for: 10 years

Signature drink: Maremmano

The best thing about being a bartender is: Sleeping in late.

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Woody St Juste

Woody St. Juste

Bar: Elberta

Been a bartender for: 5 years

Signature drink: Spicy Watermelon Margarita

The best thing about being a bartender is: Being able to listen to patrons and learn what spirits move them. The ability to engage on a stage with no script, no rehersal and on the spot auditioning for that next new flavor and for the next person to say, "Wow that's it."

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan

Bar: The Richardson

Been a bartender for: 7-8 years

Signature drink: Russell's Reserve Barrel 69 Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: It's one of the few places I don't feel awkward. I love adapting to a changing room, the energy, giving customers an awesome night and making killer drinks—from classic cocktails to shots of Fernet or whiskey to opening a bottle of beer. I love it all.

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Vote for the best bartender by name: T–Z

Sother Teague

Sother Teague

Bar: Armor y Amargo

Been a bartender for: 13 years

Signature drink: Campfire Old Fashioned

The best thing about being a bartender is: I live for service. I love being a part of my guests experience.

Monica Toca

Monica Toca

Bar: Cielo

Been a bartender for: 18 years

Signature drink: Tequila, blood orange, dark cherries, jalapeño and bitters

The best thing about being a bartender is: Meeting people from all over the world, and getting to share NYC's hidden gems in food and shopping.

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Jacob Tschetter

Jacob Tschetter

Bar: The Jeffrey

Been a bartender for: 4 years

Signature drink: Let's Get Weird/Man of Action

The best thing about being a bartender is: I love being able to create an environment where my customers feel welcomed, heard and appreciated. Being behind the bar is a wonderful creative outlet, and I love being able to share my passion with my customers.

Derrick Turner

Derrick Turner

Bar: Harding’s

Been a bartender for: 10 years

Signature drink: The Black Forest

The best thing about being a bartender is: By far, the best thing about being a bartender is simply entertaining guests as if they were guests in my home. Just creating an experince that is unequivocal to anything else they have encountered in New York is what truly drives me.

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Alex Valencia

Alex Valencia

Bar: La Contenta

Been a bartender for: 8 years

Signature drink: Oaxaca Express

The best thing about being a bartender is: Make people happy.

Allegra Warsager

Allegra Warsager

Bar: Hotel Chantelle

Been a bartender for: 5 years

Signature drink: Don Julio agave margarita

The best thing about being a bartender is: You get to meet new people constantly.

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Stewart Whalley

Stewart Whalley

Bar: Sweet Afton

Been a bartender for: 12 years

Signature drink: Old Pal

The best thing about being a bartender is: Making friends for others and bringing people together.

Drew Zechman

Drew Zechman

Bar: Burke & Wills

Been a bartender for: 17 years

Signature drink: Smokin’ Apple

The best thing about being a bartender is: After whippin’ up bespoke cocktails; having my regulars come back and say what a fabulous evening they had with me!

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Read more on the nominees

Bars

New York’s Best Bartender 2015: The top 50

Earlier this month we presented you with our top 100 nominees for Time Out New York’s Best Bartender 2015 contest, and nearly 30,000 of you voted to move your picks into the next round. Our top 50 elite drink-slingers ply their trade everywhere from dive bars and beer bars to rooftop bars and romantic bars, but one thing unites them (besides alcohol): They all need your support once again.

More to explore

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