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Meet Josh Taylor: The South Florida Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic 2018 Champion

Josh Taylor

"I have my tiara and pageant wave ready!" 

OUT caught up with Josh Taylor from Georgie's Alibi - the recently named South Florida Champion in the 5th Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic - fresh off his win. The Cocktail Classic is Stoli's annual competition recognizing North America's brightest Bar Stars. LGBT bartenders and allies across the U.S. and Canada compete to represent their home city during the Key West Pride Week Finale, June 5-11th, 2018. Here's what Josh had to say about the competition.

OUT: Congrats on being named the South Florida Champion in the 2018 Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic! How does it feel to win in the 5th Annual Competition in your hometown?

Josh Taylor: It feels amazing! I'm looking forward to representing Fort Lauderdale. It's the first time I remember winning anything as an individual that I've worked so hard for.

Ftlauderdale_cocktailYou were truly #RaisingTheBar with a super creative cocktail, "Pinky Promise". Can you tell us a little bit about the drink, and your inspiration behind it?

My drink was inspired by the competition itself. I tried to build it around Stoli, Key West, and my charity (the Pink Nail Society). I like to think it embodies summer with all fresh ingredients. Something refreshing you can enjoy anywhere, but especially by the pool or at the beach.

The Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic honors the unique legacy of gay bars as original safe spaces and community centers and the role our bartenders have played as hosts and caretakers throughout history. Tell us about what your role as a nightlife professional means to you.

I've been working in gay bars my entire adult life. It truly means family and friends for me. It's not about selling a drink, it's about the people. It's all about spending time getting to know each person and becoming a part of their lives.


As you know, part of your prize for winning the South Florida competition is an all-expense-paid trip to Key West, FL this June. Have you ever been to Key West before? What are you most looking forward to as part of this trip?

No, I have never been to Key West before. It's silly, but I really want to go swimming in the coral reef. The whole trip is about the entire experience though from the competition to pride to the sights. I'm looking forward to it all!

And if you take home the title, you'll be named Grand Marshall of the Key West Pride Parade. Have you ever been the Grand Marshall of a parade before?

I have never been in a Pride Parade, let alone the Grand Marshall. But I have my tiara and pageant wave ready!

What importance have Pride celebrations had on your life?

I feel at times as a community, we can be divided. Pride is a time we bring all aspects and people in our community together as one to celebrate. Regardless of what group or scene you are into, that's when the magic happens!


In Key West, you'll be competing for a chance to win a portion of $20,000 for your hand-picked charity, The Pink Nail Society. Anything you want to mention on your relationship to that organization, or why you picked it to represent?

I have chosen The Pink Nail Society, a non-profit charity raising awareness about prostate cancer. It was started by a bartender at Alibi, Stephen Mercuryvenusman, after his father's fight with the disease. Having lost his prostate, Stephen painted his pinky nail pink to prove to him he was still masculine without it. I felt it was a charity near and dear to the hearts of the community here in Fort Lauderdale. I'm honored to represent their cause in Key West.

Is there anything you want to say to your competitors as you head into the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic Finale - June 5th - 11th in Key West, FL?

To my fellow competitors, I look forward to spending the week competing and getting to know each of you. Win or lose, I hope we can be friends in the end! Good Luck!!

Amazing. Well we can't wait to see what innovative cocktails you stir up this June. Good luck, and know that all of Fort Lauderdale will be rooting for you to keep #RaisingTheBar!

To keep up with Josh and the rest of the action in the 5th Annual Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, visit

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