Official Rules for TOTC Most Imaginative Bartender Competition

Welcome to Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (the “Competition”). The US and Canada are managed by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (“TOTCF”).

This is an opportunity to let your imagination and creativity shine. To enter, you will need to create an original recipe that showcases you as a bartender and clearly shows the tie to your creative passions outside of the bar. You will also need to showcase that creative passion by submitting either a 90 second video, photo or brief description. We want to get to know you! Give us a glimpse into your life, tell us what you’re passionate about and how that passion gives you a unique perspective on, not only, the world of bartending but on your entire life. In other words, make the judges want to not just hear more, but taste more!

Here’s what you need to know, step-by-step.


1. Bartenders: The Competition is open only to individuals who (a) are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and Canada, (b) are at least twenty-five (25) years old as of the date of entry, (c) work in a bar at least 20 hours per week, and (d) have a passport valid through September 1, 2024

2. Exclusions: Individuals who are full- or part-time employees of (a) TOTCF, (b) Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. (“BUSA”), (c) any of Bacardi’s affiliates, partners, or competitors, or (d) New Team LLC (“Team Enterprises”), (e) Angel’s Envy affiliates, at the time of entry, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of those employees, are not eligible to enter.

Stage 1: Online Entries

3. How to Enter: Visit (the “Website”) and follow the instructions on that page. You will be required to submit a cocktail recipe and either a video of up to 90-seconds that meet the requirements described below, a photo or a brief description of your creative outlet. Together, the recipe and the video constitute your “Entry.” Entries must be received by August 25, 2023 at 11:59pm PST and there is a limit of one (1) Entry per person.

a. Recipe Requirements: Your recipe must meet the following requirements:

  • Recipes must be expressed in fluid ounces, divided in respectively customary measurements (0.5 oz., 1 oz., 2 oz., etc.), with dashes and/or drops being the smallest quantities.
  • The recipe must be gin-based and include BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin or BOMBAY SAPPHIRE PREMIER CRU MURCIAN LEMON®. (No other Bombay variants are permitted.)
  • You can use as many ingredients as you like.
  • The content of the cocktail must be between 3 oz. and 11 oz. in total. (including dashes and drops).
  • You may not use flaming alcohol or flames near alcohol.
  • Ingredients must be safe for human consumption and easily replicable.
  • You must specify a name for your recipe. The name may not include any copyrighted or trademarked material or any retailer’s name, except that you may use the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand in the name.

b. Creative Outlet Requirements: Your video, photo or brief description must meet the following requirements:

  • The video cannot be longer than 90 seconds and shot on your smartphone or other device
  • The photo should be saved as a jpg
  • The creative outlet brief description can be no longer than 2000 characters.
  • The Creative outlet submission should showcase your imagination, storytelling, overall presentation skills, and knowledge of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin.
  • Don’t just make your drink and tell us what’s in it – tell us what inspires you.
  • Video or photo cannot contain trademarked, copyrighted or intellectual property of third parties or third party marks in background.
  • Videos must be an original creation and not have been used in previous media, competitions or other publications.
  • Your creative outlet submission of video, photo or text may not: (a) be targeted to people under twenty-one (21) years old; (b) feature anyone who is under twenty-five (25) years old; (c) encourage, condone, promote, or glamorize under-age, excessive, or irresponsible consumption of alcohol products, drunk driving, or any behavior considered to be anti-social, illegal, or immoral or suggest that the consumption of beverage alcohol will lead to social or sexual success; (d) violate anyone else’s rights, including their copyrights, trademark rights, or rights of privacy or publicity; or reflect poorly on TOTCF or Bacardi. In addition, your Entry must comply with the Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc.

Judging: Judges will review each Entry and score it based on the following criteria. The judges will select up to twenty-two (22) Semi-Finalists.

c. Recipe Criteria: The following criteria will account for 40% of the score:

  • Imagination: Up to 25 points. This is all about how you bring your creative outlet to life in your recipe. Because of your creative passions you see the world of bartending (pouring fluids in cups) in a totally unique and imaginative way. Showcase that with this drink!
  • Concept/Story: Up to 5 points. This measures the connectivity the cocktail has to the provided creative passion.

d. Creative Passion Criteria: The following criteria will account for 60% of the score:

  • Imagination: Up to 30 points. Imagination is your unique way of seeing the world and specifically here, bartending. Are you able to show the judges your creative passion and make the link either through video, photo or words between your creative passion and your cocktail.
  • Concept/Story: Up to 20 points. This is how you tie it all together. Can the judges see where you are going with this and see that you have a wealth of depth behind your unique perspective on bartending or is this a forced one-off idea.
  • Please note that if your video is longer than 90 seconds the judges will only watch the first 90 seconds and will judge you based only on that amount of time.

Sapphire Pass: there will be 2 wild cards given during online entries that will grant two (2) bartenders to semi-finalist competitions.

4. Notification of Semi- Finalists: TOTCF will notify all Semi- Finalists by September 18, 2023, and invite them to participate in a Semi-Finals. Each Semi-Finalist may be required to complete and return a declaration of eligibility, a liability/publicity release, a current W-9, and an authorization to conduct a background check. TOTCF reserves the right (in its sole discretion) to disqualify a Preliminary Semi-Finalist if he/she does not sign the necessary forms within five (5) days of the date notification is sent. If a Preliminary Semi-Finalist returns these documents on time, and in TOTCF’s sole discretion, passes the background check, he/she will be invited to participate in the Local Market competitions described below.

Stage 2: Semi Finals Competitions

5. Trip to the Semi-Finals: Each Semi-Finalist will receive: (a) round trip coach-class airfare for one (1) person from an airport close to their home to the Semi-Finals; (b) hotel accommodations for two (2) nights; and (c) an immersive experience in the regional city. Please see the Prize Details section below for additional details. The approximate retail value of the trip is $1,500. Semi-Finalists will be responsible for tax, meals, and the cost of other incidental expenses.

6. Semi-Finals: The Semi-Finals will take place over the course of three (3) days between November 5, 2023 – November 14, 2023, See the website for specific dates and times. During the Semi-Finals, Semi-Finalists will compete against each other by presenting and making four (4) full size cocktails of their submitted recipe. The challenges will be judged according to the criteria disclosed at the event. The judges will select twelve (12) Finalist based on the scores.

Stage 3: Laverstoke

7. Trip to London: Each Finalist will receive: (a) round-trip coach class airfare for one (1) person from an airport close to the Finalist’s home to London; (b) hotel accommodations for four (4) nights; and (c) an immersive experience at Laverstoke. The approximate retail value of the trip is $8,500. The actual value of the trip will vary depending on various factors, including the date of booking, the point of departure, and the dates of travel. Please see the Prize Details Section below for additional details. Finalists will be responsible for tax, meals, and the cost of other incidental expenses.

8. Research for Creative Challenge: During the final competition (described below), each Finalist will participate in a Creative Challenge in which they will compete for up to $20,000 to help them bring a creative idea to life. After the trip to London, each Finalist will have access to up to $3,000 to start working on their idea for the Creative Challenge, as determined by TOTCF, in its sole discretion. Additional details will be provided at the time of the award.

Stage 4: Final Competitions

9. Trip to Final Competition: Each Finalist will receive: (a) round-trip coach class airfare for one (1) person from an airport close to the Finalist’s home to the Final Competition; (b) hotel accommodations for four (4) nights. The approximate retail value of the trip is $7,400. Please see the Prize Details section below for additional details. Finalists will be responsible for tax, meals, and the cost of other incidental expenses.

10. Competition: The Finals will take place in April 2024. During the Finals, the Finalists will compete against each other in a bartending challenge plus a Creative Challenge. As part of the Creative Challenge, the Finalists will present their creative idea to the judges. All the challenges will be judged according to the criteria disclosed at the event. The judging panel will pick one (1) Grand Prize winner based on the scores. The decision of the judging panel is final.

11. Grand Prize: One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive a creative grant of up to $20,000 from TOTCF. BUSA will have a right of first refusal for commercialization of the idea. Additional details will be provided at the time of the award.

12. Media Exposure: The Grand Prize winner will be featured in PUNCH editorial articles on social media.

General Terms

13. Supplies: For Semi-Finals and Finals, TOTCF will supply BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® and BOMBAY SAPPHIRE PREMIER CRU MURCIAN LEMON® gin, but you are required to supply all other ingredients and equipment. For all stages, competitors will be responsible for all expenses that are not explicitly stated as provided by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation in these rules.

14. Agreement to Terms and Conditions: By participating in this Competition, you indicate your unconditional agreement to these Official Rules, the TOTCF Code of Conduct, and TOTCF’s decisions, which are final and binding. Moreover, by participating, you represent that you are complying with any policies your employer may have regarding participation in competitions of this nature. You cannot win a prize unless you comply with all requirements set forth herein. TOTCF reserves the right to change these Official Rules at any time, without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on the Website.

15. Background Check: TOTCF reserves the right (at any point and in its sole discretion) to disqualify any individual if, based on the results of the background check – or on an individual’s other actions or statements – TOTCF concludes that the individual will not be a good representative for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand. Any actions of the participant outside of accordance with the TOTCF Code of Conduct will result in disqualification from the program.

A. Rights to Entries: By entering, you irrevocably: (a) grant TOTCF, BUSA, Team Enterprises, Vox Media, Inc., and each of their agents, licensees, and assigns (collectively, the “Rights Holders”) the unconditional and non-exclusive right and permission to copyright, reproduce, encode, store, copy, transmit, publish, post, broadcast, display, publicly perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works of, exhibit, and otherwise use your Entry as-is or as-edited in any media throughout the world for any purpose, without limitation, and without additional review, compensation, or approval from you or any other party for five (5) years from the date you submitted the Entry; (b) waive any rights of copyrights, trademark rights, privacy rights, and any other legal or moral rights that may preclude the Rights Holders’ use of your Entry, as outlined above, or require any further permission for the Rights Holders to use the Entry; and (c) agree not to instigate, support, maintain, or authorize any action, claim, or lawsuit against the Rights Holders on the grounds that any use of the Entry, or any derivative works, infringes any of your rights as creator of the Entry, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights, and moral rights.

16. Publicity: Except where prohibited, by participating in the Competition, you agree that the Rights Holders and any media attending events related to the Competition may use your name, likeness, voice, opinions, photographs, your video submission, event related audio-visual footage, recipe, biographical information, state of residence, and/or any other record of your participation in the Competition for promotional purposes in any press releases, advertisements, television, radio, film, documentary, internet, social media, or in any other publication or media without further payment or consideration and to license the right to use such intellectual property to others. You may be required to sign additional releases regarding publicity.

17. Prize Details: You are responsible for paying any taxes, including income taxes and any and all other costs and expenses not listed in the Official Rules. You may be required to provide a Social Security Number for tax reporting purposes. Any prize details not specified above will be determined by TOTCF, in its sole discretion. The actual value of the trips will vary depending on various factors, including the date of booking, the point of departure, and dates of travel. A prize may not be transferred and must be accepted as awarded. You may not request cash or a substitute prize; however, TOTCF reserves the right to substitute a prize (or component thereof) with another prize (or component thereof) of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason, as determined by TOTCF, in its sole discretion. You must travel on the dates specified by TOTCF. Once travel documents are issued, travel arrangements cannot be changed. If you cannot travel on the dates specified by TOTCF, you will not be permitted to compete in the next stage of the Competition. You are responsible for securing passports, visas, and any other documents necessary for international travel. If the Competition is canceled, no prizes may be awarded.

18. General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Competition is impaired in any way, TOTCF may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) cancel or suspend the Competition to address the impairment and then resume the Competition; or (b) award the prizes according to the criteria set forth above from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. TOTCF reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and seek damages from any individual who tampers with the operation of the Competition, violates these Official Rules, or the TOTCF Code of Conduct or acts in a disruptive or unsportsmanlike manner. TOTCF’s failure to enforce any term of these Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Proof of sending any communication to TOTCF by mail shall not be deemed proof of receipt of that communication by TOTCF. The Competition is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void in Utah and where prohibited. You agree that, while participating in the contest and in your private life, you will not (a) commit an offense involving moral turpitude, (b) not engage in activities that may create public scandal, disrepute, widespread contempt, or public ridicule; (c) not harass, embarrass, offend, insult or denigrate individuals or groups; (d) not damage the person or property of others; (e)that you will treat all other contestants, judges and related competition personnel with respect; and (f) that you will drink responsibly. Travel, creative grants, and cash prizes will be taxable to contestants and you should expect to receive a Form 1099.

19. Release and Limitations of Liability: By participating in the Competition, you hereby release and hold harmless TOTCF, Bacardi, Team Enterprises, PUNCH, and each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Competition or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Competition; (b) technical errors; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Competition or the processing of Entries; (f) injury or damage to yourself and your property and/or (g) injury or damage you cause to other persons or property. You further agree to defend, indemnify, release, and hold the Released Parties harmless from any claims related to your participation including damage to other persons and property and from any claims that their use of your Entry (as contemplated in these Rules) violates or infringes upon the rights of any third party. You waive the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

20. Disputes: All disputes arising out of or related to these rules, the Competition or any other matter shall be resolved through binding arbitration filed and heard in New Orleans, Louisiana pursuant to American Arbitration Association Rules using a single arbitrator. Each contestant waives any rights to challenge this forum and venue or the application of Louisiana law. Should this arbitration agreement be held non-enforceable or in order to enforce an arbitration award, each contestant irrevocably submits and consents to the jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in Orleans Parish, Louisiana and waives and objection that such forum is inconvenient. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Terms and Conditions, your rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of TOTCF in connection with the Competition, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Louisiana, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of Louisiana or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Louisiana. Each contestant agrees that any claim or dispute related to the Competition shall be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, collective or representative action or as a named or unnamed member in a class, collective, consolidated or private attorney general action.

21. Sponsor: The Competition is brought to you by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, ℅ Taylor & Willis CPAs, 3500 N Causeway Blvd, Suite 1145, Metairie, LA 70002.