Inaugural Wild Turkey Bourbon UK Cocktail Champion 2013

Wild Turkey

Gruppo Campari’s Wild Turkey Bourbon has announced the winner of it’s first UK Cocktail Competition held at the The Liquorists HQ in Manchester.

Henry Yates of Boilermaker in Nottingham clinched the top prize after competing with 10 of the best bartenders from across the UK in an exciting and heated battle to be crowned Wild Turkey Cocktail Champion 2013. Henry’s unanimous winning cocktail named ‘The Right to Freeze Peach’ voted by judges Simon Difford of Diffordsguide.com, Martin Taylor of Wild Turkey, and Hugo Mills of Gruppo Campari demonstrated passion, talent and an understanding of the kind of patience, outstanding attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes in to creating the perfect Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey cocktail.

Henry said of his creation “My inspiration for the peach, ice tea and mint cocktail originated from Wild Turkey country. I wanted to create a cocktail with ingredients which are readily available, as an introduction to Bourbon.” ‘The Right to Freeze Peach’ flavours were perfectly designed to compliment Wild Turkey 81 reflecting on it’s laid back nature. Henry added ” I am genuinely ecstatic about winning, the standard of talent was so high I can’t believe I am the Wild Turkey cocktail Champion.”

The 2 runners up Will Cox of Bon Vivant in Edinburgh and Michael Presley Sharpe of Milk Thistle in Bristol delivered their cocktails ‘Stuffed Turkey’ and ‘Feather of the Foul’ with flair and passion, worthy of a national final of this calibre. All three will now head to Kentucky on an all expenses paid trip visiting the Wild Turkey distillery, meeting Master Distiller Jimmy Russell and Associate Master Distiller Eddie Russell and attending the annual National Bourbon Festival. In addition, Henry will be presented with a bottle of Wild Turkey Forgiven, a high-end bourbon and rye blend signed by father and son Jimmy and Eddie.

The competition, which launched in July to seek out the best whiskey bartender in the country, received hundreds of entries from right across the UK. With entrants competing in exciting regional heats, taking place in the 5 host cities (Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and London), 11 of the best cocktail makers were selected to go head to head in the national final on 2nd September.

The contestants were asked to make two drinks, a signature cocktail of their choice as well as a twist on a classic cocktail. Contestants were given 5 minutes preparation time followed by a maximum of 10 minutes to make, perfect and present their creations to the judges.

Wild Turkey
The Right To Freeze Peach (courtesy of Tone Photographer)

To Make ‘The Right to Freeze Peach‘ by Henry Yates , the Wild Turkey Cocktail Champion’s signature cocktail, you will need;

50ml Wild Turkey 81
10ml Crème de peche
20ml Peach syrup (canned)
10ml Lemon juice
100ml Iced black tea (Chinese)
6 drops of Grapefruit bitters

Shake over ice, strain and serve in an empty peach tin can with a sprig of mint and garnish with a Wild Turkey 101 atomised peach slice.

Eddie Russell launched the competition during his whirlwind tour of the UK in July, which saw him travel from the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky to present master classes in six cities across the country.
Christophe Schaillee, Regional Director Europe at Campari International, said, “It was a wonderful opportunity to have Eddie Russell launching the first ever UK Wild Turkey Cocktail competition and at the same time host the master Bourbon classes. Wild Turkey is very respected by bartenders and is becoming very fashionable with consumers, and this is a great occasion for audiences to know and appreciate the brand even more. We are very proud of our product and these events are the best way to show the uniqueness and versatility of Wild Turkey.”

The national finalists were;

· Rosie Paterson of Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh and Will Cox of Bon Vivant, Edinburgh, winners of the Glasgow heat at Luac Bar
· Michael Sharper of Milk Thistle, winner of the Bristol heats at Haus Bar
· Benji Purslow of Archer Street and Nicholas Quattroville of Social Eating House, winners of the London heats which took place in The Hawksmoor
· Ed Belshaw of World Service Restaurant & Lounge Bar, Henry Yates from Boilermaker and Lucy Jane Horncastle of The Victoria, Birmingham who won the heats at Nottingham’s Brass Monkey
· Laurie Eaton of Berry & Rye, Liverpool ,Tim Laferla of Mr Coopers House & Garden and Jamie Jones of The Liquorists who won the Manchester heat, judged at Manchester’s Dusk til Pawn

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