Monthly Cocktail Contest on Cocktails

Cocktail Contest Details, Rules, and Results

Robert Watrous' The Rustic Manhattan Cocktail
Apple whiskey and raspberry vermouth come together in beautiful harmony to create The Rustic Manhattan. Photo Courtesy: © Robert Watrous

Looking for the Current Cocktail Contest?

First of all, I appreciate everyone who has shared their recipes over the last few years. It is fun to explore your unique creations and you have given me and my readers some fabulous drinks to try. Thank you all!

As of January 2016, I'm going to take a little break from hosting cocktail contests. I may bring them back at some time in the future, but for now they are on hold.

I will be sure to let you know via my newsletter and social media when a new session of contests is open.

For now, browse through all of the recipes below. The winning drinks are stunning and there are many hidden gems within the entries. Exploring this collection should keep you from going thirsty for quite some time!

-Colleen Graham

Contest of the Month:

No Current Contest

2015 Contest Schedule:

Read the full results from the 2015 contests...

2014 Contest Schedule:

Read the full results from the 2014 contests...

  • January: Whiskey Cocktails - The winner is: Ides of March

2013 Contests:

Read the full results from the 2013 contests...

2011 and 2012 Contests:

Read the full results from the 2011 & 2012 contests...

  • October 2012: Halloween Cocktails - The winner is Skeleton Key
  • June/July 2012: Mocktails - The winner is The Great Gazoo
  • May 2012: Vodka Cocktails - The winner is Goose in Spring
  • November 2011: Gin Cocktails - The winner is The 5/25
  • September 2011: Infused Spirits Cocktails - The winner is The Marriage of Figaro
  • July/Aug 2011: Absinthe Cocktails - The winner is La Dame Blasée
  • May/June 2011: Grapefruit Cocktails - The winner is It's About That Time
  • March/April 2011: Spring Cocktails - The winner is La Primavera
  • January 2011: Hot Cocktails - The winner is Torii Toddy

2010 Contests:

Read the full results from the 2010 contests...

  • November 2010: Scotch Cocktails - The winner is Scotch Lassie
  • October 2010: Cinnamon Cocktails - The winner is Admiral Perry
  • September 2010: Pumpkin Cocktails - The winner is The Homecoming
  • August 2010: Bourbon Cocktails - The winner is Georgia On My Mind
  • July 2010: Light Rum Cocktails - The winner is Tom Yang Light Martini
  • June 2010: Pineapple Cocktails - The winner is the Épicé Sidecar
  • May 2010: Tequila Cocktails - The winner is the Pom Padre

Here are the details:

  • All cocktails must be original and created by the person who submits it. Variations on classic or common cocktails will be accepted (i.e. the Cocoa Old-fashioned and Reposado Old-fashioned would be acceptable variations on the classic Old-fashioned, an Old-fashioned with a specific bourbon brand and no other changes would not). As the panel cannot possibly know every drink ever made you are on your honor, though we will be able to catch common reproductions.
  • The contest is open to all levels of expertise from home bartenders to professionals and all will be judged fairly with no consideration of skill level.
  • Photographs of the drink submitted are encouraged.
  • Cocktails must adhere to the theme of that month or they will not be accepted.
  • Non-alcoholic mixed drinks will be accepted if they are fitting to the theme. Obviously, a mocktail will not work for a "Tequila Cocktail" contest, but one may be submitted for a "Pomegranate Cocktail" contest.
  • If I have any questions about your drink submission I may contact you via email.
  • At the beginning of each month a new contest theme will be announced and the contest will be open through the end of the month. Specific deadlines are set each month and may not specifically adhere to the dates on the calendar. Check the open contest for the specific deadline.
  • After the deadline day for that month the contest will be closed to further submissions.
  • I reserve the right to reject or edit any submissions, though I will leave accepted cocktail recipes intact.
  • Submitting your name and website are optional. I will encourage the winning bartender to reveal these details, though it is not required.
  • There are no physical prizes or rewards involved with this contest. It is merely an opportunity to share and receive recognition for innovative bartending skills.
  • The contest is run solely by Colleen Graham as a regular, monthly feature to share with readers. does not play any part in the outcome or the operation of the contest.

The Winning Cocktail:

Of the submissions received each month I will choose the top three cocktails and submit those to my panel of bartending experts for tasting and review. Together the panel will decide which drink wins top honors for that month.

The winning cocktail will be featured in permanently in my cocktail collection on Cocktails with full credit and any relevant links going to the drink's creator.