Bartender Spirits Awards

Bartender Spirits Awards
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Renato M. Tonelli

2023 US Bartender of the Year and Founder at Sustainable Bartender

My name is Renato Tonelli and I was born and raised in New York City. From a young age, I was immersed in different cultures, not only from living in one of the largest, most diverse cities in the world but also because of my Italian heritage. My father was born in a small town in Tuscany and transmitted his love for his homeland to me. I went to an Italian school in Manhattan and spent all of my summers in Italy in my father’s hometown. Being exposed to the Italian countryside and culture encouraged my passion for travel and the discovery of different foods and flavors.

Thankfully, I also fell in love with bartending, enabling me to work while traveling the world. After spending 10 years abroad between Italy, Belgium, and Australia, I finally moved back to New York City where I began my own blog called “Sustainable Bartender”, teaching bartenders how to upcycle leftover food waste. I also competed in the 2022 USBG World Class Competition sponsored by Diageo, where I made it to the National Finals. This achievement helped me land a job as the Beverage Training Director for ‘Dante’ one of the world's best bars. Despite not winning the first year, I decided to give the competition another shot and managed to seal the win, allowing me to represent the United States in the Global Finals and reaching the final Top 12.

After three challenging days of exceptional craft cocktail showmanship with the nation’s top 30 bartenders at the US Finals, the USBG Presents World Class Sponsored by DIAGEO announced Renato Tonelli as the 2023 U.S. Bartender of the Year.

"Being named the 2023 US Bartender of the Year is something I have dreamed of for years and that dream just came true," says Renato Tonelli. "I've gained so much invaluable knowledge, skills and camaraderie from this competition that will make a major impact in the future for both my personal and professional career in this industry. I'm thrilled to be heading to the Global Finals in Brazil and continuing to pursue sustainable practices with this craft, and I have the outstanding support of this community behind me to thank for that."

Meet our Judges

Elliott Ernst

Country's Top 100 World Class Bartenders and Mixologist, Rockford

Jared Givens

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