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Eric Alperin (The Varnish, L.A.)
Alperin's outstanding bar and inspired drinks helped revitalize a whole neighborhood: downtown L.A. 118 E. Sixth St.; thevarnishbar.com.
Jamie Boudreau (Canon, Seattle)
The Pacific Northwest cocktail pioneer has amassed perhaps the world's largest spirits selection—some 2,800 bottles with over 200 kinds of vintage whiskey. 928 12th Ave.; canonseattle.com.
Julian Cox (Rivera, L.A.)
Cox has made L.A.—a city known for Red Bull and vodka—care about craft cocktails. His Barbacoa, a mix of mezcal, chipotle and ginger syrup, is a modern classic. 1050 S. Flower St.; riverarestaurant.com.
John Gertsen (Drink, Boston)
Drink revolutionized the concept of a bar; when it opened, it offered three separate areas, each focusing on cocktails from a different era. 348 Congress St.; drinkfortpoint.com.
Charles Joly (The Aviary, Chicago)
It takes a hyper-talented mixologist to meet chef Grant Achatz's standards at The Aviary. Joly does that with brilliant riffs on classic drinks. 955 W. Fulton Market; theaviary.com.
Jim Meehan (PDT, Manhattan)
Meehan's modern speakeasy became the model for bars everywhere. His seminal books include PDT Cocktails and the F&WCocktails series. 113 St. Marks Pl.; pdtnyc.com.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Clyde Common, Portland, OR)
His barrel-aged Negroni is one of the decade's It drinks, and jeffreymorgenthaler.com is one of the cocktail world's premier blogs. 1014 SW Stark St.; clydecommon.com.
Julie Reiner (Clover Club, Brooklyn)
Her 2003 spot Flatiron Lounge helped kick off NYC's craft-cocktail movement; at Clover Club, she's been at the forefront of Brooklyn's drinks scene. 210 Smith St.; cloverclubny.com.
Todd Thrasher (PX, Alexandria, VA)
Thrasher's DC-area empire extends from the elite PX lounge to the rock-and-roll bar TNT. 728 King St.; eamonnsdublinchipper.com.
Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole, SF)
Over the past decade, Vogler has been behind the opening of just about every great cocktail spot in the Bay Area, including Bar Agricole. 355 11th St.; baragricole.com.