Photo by Audrey Dempsey • Infinity Photo

JR Starkus, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada Director of Mixology Trade Development, has earned the USBG Certified Master Mixologist title, the highest level of certification by the United States Bartenders’ Guild. JR, along with Armando Rosario, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Director of Mixology Florida & National Accounts, are the first to be granted this title under this prestigious program. The certification required submitting a thesis graded by the MA committee.  In JR’s thesis titled “The Great Lime Juice Debate: Same Day Juice Isn’t Always Necessary” he reported on using the palates of 200 random consumers from 15 states and 3 countries who resoundingly preferred cocktails made with 3-day old lime juice vs same-day.  

Armando Rosario - photo courtesy Armando Rosario

Background on the USBG Master Accreditation Program

In July of 2009 The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), a non-profit organization founded in 1948, launched the USBG Master Accreditation Program, a 3-tiered bartender certification program for bartenders.  

The curriculum was designed by some of the most important visionaries from the bartending world, most notably Tony Abou Ganim, Livio Lauro, Dale Degroff and Francesco Lafranconi, among others, to teach beverage history, industry techniques and standards.