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 “Freestyle” Beverage Creation Gives Veteran Bartender a Spirited Edge

ST. LOUIS, MO – November 10, 2017 -- Mixologist Monica Schepis has captured the gold at the inaugural Clayton Cup – a fiercely fought St. Louis bar competition testing some of the area’s most talented bartenders. The contest required competitors to survive two rounds presenting their own creative takes on gin and rye libations, and then to present a completely original “freestyle” drink.

A veteran in the field of bartending, Monica Schepis has practiced her craft for some 25 years, with her last 14 years of mixology finding her behind the popular bar of The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. She used her Ritz-Carlton experience and customer input to come up with her winning freestyle drink, which featured bourbon mixed with fresh peach purée, puréed honey and fresh ginger, along with a garnish of candied ginger. Her entries for the other two competition rounds were also inspired by her recent experience at the hotel, including an autumn rye cocktail, “The Frontier,” which she crafts with blueberry cheesecake-viola flowers. Schepis says it is her seasonal best-seller. “I can’t believe I won this event, and it truly inspires me to continue to innovate,” said Schepis. “What a joy it is to see mixology regarded and rewarded as a true culinary discipline.”

Schepis will see her name engraved on the inaugural event trophy, to be displayed at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis throughout her title year.