Sophia Kim - a bartender at Saison restaurant in Jackson Ward - took home the top prize in a national cocktail contest held May 20 in New York.

Kim, who was born in South Korea and moved to Virginia when she was young, was named Master of Manhattan in the 2019 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience, a Woodford Reserve-sponsored competition to find the most creative Manhattan-maker in the U.S. and Canada.

“I am elated. Hard work and perseverance paid off. Everyone in the competition was so talented and kind, and it was an honor to be among such wonderful people,” Kim said in a statement.

This is the third year Kim has participated in the contest and last year she was named a finalist. Kim wins an all-expenses paid trip for two to London to partake in London Cocktail Week (October 4 – 13).

This year's cocktail competition drew nearly 1,000 entries from across the country and from Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia.

The judging panel included Woodford Reserve’s Master Distiller Chris Morris, Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall and legendary bartenders Julie Reiner, Charles Joly and Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Kim's winning cocktails were her take on a classic Manhattan, the Sure and Steady Manhattan, and a second cocktail, the Original Bubble Gum Julep.

Here are the recipes:

Sure and Steady Manhattan

● 2 dash Angostura

● 1/4 oz Montenegro

● 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula

● 1 oz Woodford Double Oaked

● 1 oz Woodford Bourbon

● Orange twist

○ Served up in a coupe

Original Bubble Gum Julep

● Bar spoon Yellow Chartreuse

● Bar spoon Bigallet China-China

● Bar spoon citrus oleo

● 2 oz Woodford Bourbon

● Mint garnish

○ Served swizzled with crushed ice

Receive daily news emails sent directly to your email inbox

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

(804) 649-6321

Twitter: @KarriPeifer

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.