Ruta Cocktail Challenge 2024: Ukraine’s Top Cocktail Competition


RutaBalm, in collaboration with OTB Studio, has orchestrated an all-Ukrainian cocktail competition centered around the creative use of RUTA balm. Among the competition’s criteria is the incorporation of local ingredients into the cocktail recipes.

The founders of the Ukrainian artisanal herbal balm, in collaboration with the professional mixologist and bartender community, received applications from approximately 70 skilled bartenders from across the nation for the competition. The qualifying round concluded on April 21, and now esteemed judges are meticulously evaluating the recipes crafted by the participants. The jury comprises:

  • Nazar Makarov (BarmenDiktat)
  • Nadir Kuchkarov (Hendrick’s bar)
  • Andriy Zhitniuk (OTB Studio)
  • Vitaly Kononikin (Twins Bar)


The final showdown will take place on May 7 in an offline, live format, where the top five bartenders and bar ladies from across Ukraine will vie for victory!

Oleg Levchenko, co-founder of RutaBalm, expressed his hopes for the competition, stating, “We aim to kickstart a trend in the bar culture, featuring cocktails crafted from high-quality Ukrainian beverages. Additionally, one of the competition’s requirements is the use of locally-sourced ingredients in the recipes. We anticipate seeing innovative ingredients like beetroot and sorrel cordials, oats and Ivan tea soda, as well as viburnum and smoked pear infusions in modern Ukrainian cocktails. Our goal is to challenge the dominance of classic foreign cocktails and foster creativity in the industry!”

RUTA craft herbal balm is a true Ukrainian gem, proudly representing the country as a nominee for the WTA 2023-2024 in the category of The Visiting Card of the Country/Brand – the Visiting Card of the Country. It has already garnered international recognition, with a professional tasting event held at ProWein in Düsseldorf in March, where it received high praise from international tasters for its exceptional taste and aroma. Furthermore, in November 2023, the RutaBalm company participated in the prestigious Craft Spirits Awards in Great Britain, where it clinched a gold medal.

We extend our best wishes for continued success and global acclaim for RUTA balm and the innovative Ukrainian cocktails it inspires!