Peter Vestinos is an award-winning bartender with years of experience designing and implementing cocktail programs; training bartenders, sales teams and consumers; and consulting with multiple spirit brands. With over 15 years of experience in the bar and restaurant industry, he has worked at all levels of the business including behind the bar, distribution and supplier.
Vestinos pioneered the modern craft cocktail movement in Chicago with the opening of Michelin-starred Sepia in 2007. There he developed a fresh ingredient and seasonally inspired cocktail menu based on then-forgotten classics. A “game changer for the city’s beverage programs,” according to Modern Luxury magazine, Vestinos helped to firmly place Sepia and Chicago on the national cocktail map.
From Sepia, he was recruited by Wirtz Beverage Group, one of the nation’s leading luxury and premium beverage alcohol wholesalers, in the role of beverage Development Director. He acted as a liaison between the supplier, distributor and trade industry, as well as contributing his expertise to cocktail and beverage programs, as well as trade and industry events.
In 2012 Vestinos launched the beverage consulting company, The Bar Medic, to develop cocktail programs, train bartenders, assist with brand marketing, and to educate consumers through classes. Vestinos has developed cocktail programs for such prestigious Chicago locations as Michael Jordan’s Steakouse, The Winchester, bellyQ, Sepia, Nomi, Gibson’s Steakhouse, The Roof, Elate, The Exchange, City Tavern and the recently opened AceBounce
Vestinos also oversees the beverage program of Footman Hospitality’s establishments, including the upscale gin bar and restaurant, The Betty and the 1940’s Cuban rum bar, Sparrow. He currently proudly serves as the Chicago President of the U.S. Bartenders Guild.
Some of his accolades include: National 1st Place winner in the 2009 Hendrick’s Gin Cocktail and Limerick Competition, National 1st Place winner at the 2008 Bombay Sapphire’s “The Nation’s Most Inspired Bartender” Competition, 1st Place winner in the 2007 Chicago Iron Bartender Competition, and the 2008 U.S. Bartenders’ Guild National Cocktail Competition. He also received 2nd place at the 2008 Las Vegas “Shake It Up” Competition and was honored with the 2008 Time Out Chicago Editor’s Choice Award for “Best Modernizer of the Classic Cocktail.”