Monday 25th January saw the culmination of a yearlong campaign between the award-winning UK importer Emporia Brands and the Wizard’s of the liqueur market, Gabriel Boudier. Hosted within the superb Villa Messner in Dijon, the home of Gabriel Boudier since 1874.
The Gabriel Boudier Wizard Awards set out in 2015 to find a UK bartender worthy of the accolade, coming up with a unique flavoured liqueur in the hope of impressing the owners of Gabriel Boudier, the Battault family, and winning the chance to have their winning recipe put into full production.
Three UK finalists, each of which had earned their way to the final through the Boutique Bar Show regional heats held in London, Glasgow and Manchester, were awarded the chance; Joey Butcher of Bourbon and Black, Manchester, Samuel Boulton of Suds n Duds in Birmingham and Andrew Stewart of The Tippling House, Aberdeen.
Over the watchful eye of François Battault, Chairman of Gabriel Boudier and Jack Rackham, Commercial Director of Emporia Brands, it was to be Samuel Bolton’s night as his Kaffir Lime Leaf impressed alongside his simple signature serve of Kaffir Lime Leaf and Fentimans 1905 Tonic Water, and his understanding of the commercial aspects of the liqueur category.
Winning £1000 on the night too, he will be introducing to the market his Kaffir Lime Leaf liqueur, produced by the award-winning Gabriel Boudier, before the end of the year and is set to be available through all major retailers.