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.