How it Works

Bar Madness is a bracket-style competition where bartenders battle head-to-head in weekly elimination rounds until one bartender is left, having conquered all others and emerging victorious.

Step One: The Preliminary Round – Social Media Entries

Dec 15, 2019 – Feb 1, 2020

Bartenders will enter the competition by submitting an original cocktail featuring at least one of the following spirits:

Entries will be accepted from December 15, 2019 – February 1, 2020. To submit a cocktail entry, bartenders must post a photo of their original cocktail along with a list of ingredients to their social media (Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter) using the hashtag #Barmadness2020.

A panel of independent judges, comprised of our sponsors, will evaluate each online entry based on the following criteria:

  • Appearance (up to 10 points)
    • How attractive is the photograph of the cocktail? In other words, if I saw this cocktail at a bar, would I be tempted to post a pic of it on Instagram?
    • Garnish, glassware, and staging will all be considered when evaluating the photo
  • Branding
    • Contestants will receive 1 point for each spirit from the above list that is used in the cocktail.
    • For each of the above spirits used in the cocktail, contestants will receive an additional 1 point for each brand that is prominently displayed in the photo.
    • Contestants will receive 1 point for each UNIQUE post of their cocktail per social media platform (ie/ Don’t just post the same photo each week!)
    • Contestants will receive 1 point for each sponsor they tag per post.
  • Additional Scoring
    • Contestants will receive up to 5 points based on the creativity of their cocktail name
  • Deductions / Disqualifications
    • Contestants will be disqualified for using a cocktail name that is deemed either:
      • Unoriginal
      • Inappropriate or lewd
      • Too lengthy
    • Contestants will be disqualified for using any brands or logos in their photograph that are not represented by Horizon Beverage. This includes posters, clothing, and bottles. Listing the names of other brand’ spirits in the recipe is OK.

The bartenders selected to advance from the Preliminaries to the Quarterfinals will be announced no later than February 9, 2020 on social media using the hashtag #BarMadness2020.

Step Two: The Quarterfinals

March 8, 2020

Based on the criteria above, 8 bartenders will be selected to advance to the Quarterfinals round on Sunday, March 8th at 7pm at the Old Port Sea Grill. These 8 bartenders will compete head-to-head in a live bracket competition, with the winner of each match advancing to the Semifinals.

Contestants will prepare 3 full-sized samples of their original cocktail for live evaluation by a panel of 3 judges.

Judging Criteria:

Each judge will choose their favorite cocktail based on appearance, flavor, balance, showmanship, and brand integration. Each judge’s score will count as 1/3 of the overall score. The winner of each head-to-head match will advance to the Semifinals Round. To view the official rules, eligibility, and judging criteria, click here.

Step Three: The Semifinals

March 15, 2020

The four winners from the head-to-head Quarterfinals battles will advance to the Semifinals round. The format will run the same as the Quarterfinals, with new spirits featured in each battle. Judging criteria will also remain the same.

The Semifinals will take place at 7pm on March 15 at the Old Port Sea Grill and raw bar.

Step Four: The Finals

March 29, 2020

The two winners from the Semifinals rounds will advance to compete head-to-head in the final showdown on March 29 at 7pm at the Old Port Sea Grill. The format and judging criteria will remain the same as the Quarterfinals and Semifinals rounds. At the end of the evening, one winner will be crowned the champion. For a complete list of rules, click here.