Craig Ventrice, United States Bartenders Guild Connecticut (USBG CT) chapter member and Bar Manager at Kawa-Ni and The Whelk, both in Westport, won the 2016 Woodford Reserve Cocktail Competition held at David Burke Prime Steakhouse at Foxwoods Resort Casino on March 1. Nine bartenders competed after submitting an original cocktail recipe that used Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and creating a variation of a classic Manhattan using Woodford Distillers Select Bourbon. In March, Ventrice traveled to the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky for an immersive educational experience. The distillery representatives will choose the six finalists to compete in the National Woodford Reserve Competition in April in New York City during that trip. The regional Woodford Reserve Cocktail Competition was judged by Owner of Highland Brass Co. and USBG CT Chapter President, Dimitrios Zahariadis, Roger Gross, USBG CT Member and Partner at Highland Brass Co., and Joe Aceto, USBG CT Member and Bar Manager, Mezzo’s Grille. Peter Lloyd Clayton, USBG CT chapter member, helped to organize and host the competition, presented by Brown-Forman.