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Bartender Spirits Awards

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Makenzie Helem

Top 30 bartenders in the US for USBG World Class 2023 and Bartender at Spilt Milk, Chicago

I started in the industry while in college and was given the chance to bartend at a local cocktail bar, Miller's Back Door in Bellingham, WA. That's where my love for bartending and passion for creating cocktails really came to life. I love experimenting with kitchen techniques or incorporating food aspects into my drinks. My favorite is reading a menu description and thinking "how is that going to taste together" or "how did they do that" and then I have to try it. My ideal day is being a little rat exploring the city, eating as many pastries as possible and ending the night with a Nic Cage movie marathon with a hard seltzer in hand.

Meet our Judges

Jared Givens

Director of Restaurants, Bars, and Events at The Thompson, Hyatt Hotels, Dallas

Mike Ryan

Global Beverage Director, Acurio International, Chicago