USC Judges

Ivy Mix
Ivy Mix
Head Bartender and Bar Co-Owner
Ivy Mix

Ivy Mix is Co-Owner and Head Bartender of Leyenda, her pan-Latin cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, backed by her long-time mentor, Julie Reiner. Leyenda pays tribute to her years of living and bartending in Guatemala, as well as extensive travels throughout all of Latin America. Leyenda has won many awards and has been recognized as being one of the best bars in America by Eater, GQ, Thrillist and others.

With a long history of working in bars throughout the Americas, Ivy has been recognized by many within the culinary and cocktail industry as being one of the best bartenders in the country and in 2015 was named American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktails Spirited Awards and in 2016 was named Mixologist of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.

Ivy first served a drink when she traveled to Guatemala at 19 years old when studying at Bennington College. She lived and worked there for years, mixing in travels to Mexico to smuggle special mezcales and tequilas over the border. Giving her a unique and extensive knowledge base into the agave spirits field. In 2009, she started cocktail waitressing at Mayahuel and it was here where with craft cocktails that she saw how she could bring together her love for bartending and spirits with her artistic background. It was within a year that she joined cocktail historian and bar owner St. John Frizell at Fort Defiance. From there, she worked and helped open several bars throughout Brooklyn. In 2010, Ivy caught Julie Reiner’s eye and was hired to be on the opening staff of Lani Kai in Manhattan. It was not long until she was brought back to her borough of choice to work at Reiner’s flagship world-renown bar the Clover Club.Four years later, she and Reiner opened up Leyenda across the street in May of 2015.

Additionally, Ivy has inspired the nation to rethink women’s role behind the bar. She conceptualized and later, with Lynnette Marrero, co-founded Speed Rack - a national cocktail competition that creates a platform for female bartenders while simultaneously raising money for breast cancer related charities. Speed Rack started in 2011 and has taken the world by storm, changing the way people view women’s role in cocktails. So far they have raised over $800,000 for charity.


  • Wine Enthusiasts Mixologist of the Year 2016
  • American Bartender of the Year for Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards 2015
  • Named 1 of Food & Wine Magazine Most Innovative Women of 2015
  • Semi-Finalist Forbes 30 under 30 in Food and Wine 2013, 2014
  • Wine Enthusiasts 40 Under 40 2013
  • Imbibe Magazine’s Drink Ambassador of the Year 2013
  • Official nominee for Best American Bartender for the Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited awards 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Zagat’s 30 under 30 for New York City 2012
  • First recipient of Tony Abou-Ganim’s Helen David Humanitarian Award 2012
  • Honored by SHARE Cancer Support for her work within the Breast Cancer Community in 2012


New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, The Today Show, FOX, Imbibe, Class Magazine, Difford’s Guide, Tasting Panel Magazine, Bar Business Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, TimeOut, Food and Wine Magazine, Details,,, Cocktail Lovers, and more.