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Mixologists, read closely. 

Maria Yagoda
July 17, 2018

Woodford Reserve is teaming up with the James Beard Foundation for a new scholarship that will support bartenders and mixologists, making it the first JBF scholarship dedicated solely to drinks professionals. 

The bourbon company, which is also sponsoring JBF's Taste America culinary tour, will offer the scholarship to people interested in enrolling in a program for bartending or wine studies.

"The Woodford Reserve Beverage Studies Scholarship is designed to help aspiring beverage professionals further their skills — and is one of several programs designed by Woodford Reserve to celebrate classic cocktails and the people who craft them," reads a release announcing the scholarhip. "Applicants must be currently enrolled — or planning to enroll — at a licensed or accredited program of study for beverage, wine studies, Viticulture & Oenology, or a related field."

In the past, some of JBF’s wine-focused scholarships have also been applicable to beverage studies programs, but this is the first one solely dedicated to drinks professionals. Applications open on April 1. (More information here.

JBF's Taste America series, which will feature Woodford Reserve cocktails, kicks off on August 1 at the James Beard House in New York City before traveling to ten other cities around the country, featuring acclaimed local chefs. The Taste America tickets, which are officially on sale, will support another important JBF scholarship; a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Taste America Scholarship Fund, which helps aspiring cooks attend culinary schools. The series will then travel to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle. 

“Taste America exemplifies the Foundation’s mission of shining a spotlight on the rich diversity of America’s food culture and the communities that comprise it,” said Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation, in a statement. “Taste America highlights local foods, beverages, and artisans, offering food lovers the opportunity to have unique dining experiences, engage directly with amazing chefs, and to support the Foundation’s mission to drive towards a better food system for all.”

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