Restaurants and bars from both sides of Mobile Bay are invited to nominate their most qualified bartenders to compete in the 2015 Gulf Coast Bartender of the Year Competition at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores on Aug. 31. Presented by the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance (ARHA), only 10 nominees will be accepted into this elite coastal clash for local bragging rights and a chance to compete for the state title.

The 2015 Gulf Coast Bartender of the Year Competition takes place at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores on Aug. 31.

The 2015 Gulf Coast Bartender of the Year Competition takes place at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores on Aug. 31.

“In its third year running, the competition is expected to be at a whole new level,” Joanie Flynn, vice president of marketing for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism, said. “We encourage restaurants and bars throughout coastal Alabama to submit their best bartenders for this fun, charismatic event.”

Nominees chosen to compete will receive a list of 10 cocktails to memorize prior to the event highlighting the liquor sponsor, Old Forester, and will be given 15 minutes to complete a multiple choice test on the recipes. Contestants will randomly select three recipes in addition to a specialty concoction of their choice – all using Old Forester bourbon whiskey – to prepare during their 10-minute time slot.

As an added challenge, competitors are required to announce the name and amount of each ingredient to determine accuracy. Showmanship and flair will be critiqued in addition to accuracy, speed and taste, so the more crowd interaction, the better.

Regional winners will advance to the state competition in Birmingham on Sept. 28. Regional winners will receive $200, and first, second and third places will receive plaques. The first place winner at the state level will take home the $1,500 grand prize with second place receiving $500 and third place receiving $200.

Nominations must be completed online here. The deadline to apply is Aug. 14, 2015. Questions may be directed to Shea Perkins, director of member relations for the ARHA, at SPerkins@ARHAOnline.com or 334-244-1320.