Meet RedEye's Best Bartender 2014 contestants

It's been a rough winter, Chicago. You know who was there for you? Your bartenders. They kept the cocktails flowing and listened while you whined about unshoveled sidewalks and Uber surge pricing. It's time to show them a little love in return. After sorting through more than 200 nominations, spending hours interviewing candidates and yes, a little liquid research, we've narrowed the field to our Top 8 contenders for the title of RedEye's Best Bartender 2014.They represent the best in up-and-coming cocktail talent, and it's up to you to crown the winner. Read up on this diverse set of drink slingers, visit their bars, sip their signature drinks and cast your vote here for your favorite by Feb. 10. (Note: Round 1 voting has closed. Please check back on Feb. 12 for our Top 4 announcement.) The Top 4 vote-getters will throw down at a live mix-off at RedEye's 10th anniversary Best Bartender Bash on Feb. 26 (get your tickets here). Cheers! --Kate Bernot
Photos by Lenny Gilmore/RedEye
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