Carl Brown, from Dishoom has won the Vintage to Visionary competition, a collaboration between The Bitter Truth ™ – Bitters & Liqueurs and Hayman Distillers, the English gin distiller whose family have been making gin since 1863. The winning recipes are listed below.
The brief laid down by the team at Love Drinks, the UK distributor of the two companies and organiser of the competition, was simple– create two cocktails – one Vintage and one Visionary – using any of the products in the range.
Eight bartenders headed down to the Queen of Hoxton to compete for the £1000 prize but Carl, with his two drinks, the Senior Service Julep and Mother’s Fix, which used a homemade tangerine shrub, which was smoked and then aged, edged the judges’ decisions.
The judges included Alexander Hauck, Co-Founder of The Bitter Truth ™ – Bitters & Liqueurs; James Hayman, Managing Director of Hayman’s and Clinton Cawood from Imbibe.
The competition was extremely close. So much so that the judges’ awarded two joint second places to Gabor Onufer from Claridges and Ami St Claire from Sohe in Newcastle. Both contestants were praised on their drinks making skills and innovative take on the brief. Ami for her homemade cocktail candy floss and gin soaked marshmallows and Gabor for his excellently made Voyager which used Claret and was mixed in a crystal wine decanter.
Speaking about the competition, Carl Brown, whose job title Daru-wallah, literally translates into the ‘drinks guy’, said: “We use both Hayman’s gins and the Bitter Truth in our bars so for me, this was a competition that I wanted to enter and win. Making great drinks was just one element of the competition; I really enjoyed researching the two companies. Hayman’s because of their history and heritage and The Bitter Truth because of their passion and commitment to making cocktail ingredients in order to recreate drinks that might have been lost forever were it not for them. What really shone out for me was the commitment from both companies to using the best quality ingredients which is why I wanted to create excellent drinks for the judging panel to enjoy.”
The other competitors in the competition include; Niall McGloin from Smokestack in Leeds; Michael Mann from City of London Distillery; Tom De Santis from Electrik in Manchester; Amir Javaid from Epernay in Manchester and Lucy Horncastle from NOLA.
The recipes for Carl’s drinks are as follows:
VINTAGE – Senior Service Julep
Glass: Indian Copper Julep Cup
Garnish: Bushel of mint and twist of grapefruit
Method: Churn ingredients with crushed ice, then cap with more ice
40ml Hayman’s Royal Dock Navy Strength Gin
20ml The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur
15ml English honey syrup (1:1)
3 dashes The Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters
VISIONARY – Mother’s Fix
Garnish: Candied orange peel
Method: Tap off shrub from barrel over chipped ice. Add gin, bitters and soda. Stir.
30ml Hayman’s 1850 Reserve Gin
4 dashes The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters
Dash of soda
Method: Combine ingredients with hickory smoke in barrel and leave for one week.
300ml tangerine juice
150ml lemon juice
25ml fresh ginger juice
100ml Hayman’s 1850 Reserve Gin
The Bitter Truth Range of Bitter and Liqueurs and Hayman’s Gins are distributed in the UK by Love Drinks.