Best Local Bartender

Michael Bowers, The Modern Hotel and Bar

The Modern Hotel and Bar takes cocktails seriously—so seriously that its menu adds new, original drinks to its menu almost every week. Its golden egg-laying goose is Michael Bowers, the mixologist savant who has garnered mention in the likes of Sunset Magazine and The New York Times, and this is his second consecutive Best Local Bartender win.

2nd Place: Major Ludwig, Rice Contemporary Asian Cuisine—Major Ludwig is no cadet in the Best Local Bartender category, having taken home the top prize for Rice Contemporary Asian Cuisine in 2013. He won again in 2014 for his innovations at one of Eagle's most artful restaurants.

3rd Place: Andrew McReynolds, Mai Thai Restaurant and Bar—Mai Thai has long invested in its bartenders and for years its bar, run by Michael Reed, was one of the best in town. This year, Reed's successor, Andrew McReynolds, made his first appearance on the Best Local Bartender shortlist. Here's to many more.

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