Tag Archives: bartenders

The Winning Formula: Antica Formula Launches Cocktail Competition

Antica Formula cocktails
Bartenders from across the UK will put their mixology skills to the test in a cocktail competition showcasing the versatility of Antica Formula, the original Italian vermouth.
At stake is the chance for four regional winners to enjoy an exclusive VIP trip to Milan to visit the Fratelli Branca Distillery, where Antica Formula is still made to the original 1786 recipe.

With Antica Formula a key ingredient in three much-loved cocktails – the Negroni, Americano, and Hanky Panky – entrants will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the heritage and character of the iconic red vermouth.

UK distributor Hi-Spirits is inviting bartenders to create their own aperitivo recipe based on one of the four classics. The drink must either feature on the cocktail menu or as a special at their bar. The shortlisted finalists will be invited to compete at four regional events in Scotland, London, the North West and the Midlands, where they will be asked to:

• Make three of their chosen cocktail from the Negroni, Americano and Hanky Panky; the drinks will be made individually and contestants judged on consistency;
• Make the cocktail which they originally submitted to the competition.
The four regional contests will be decided by a panel of judge headed by Nicola Branca, world ambassador for Antica Formula. Judges will be awarding points for drinks that reflect the tradition and strengths of Antica Formula, as well as the contestants’ technical skills.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Antica Formula is at the heart of some of the world’s best-loved cocktails. We’re not only inviting the UK’s top bartenders to show that they can make the classics expertly and consistently, but also that they have the skill and ingenuity to create an aperitivo of their own as a twist one of these great cocktails.”

The competition opens on 1 May, and entrants have until 31 July to enter their aperitivo recipe online at http://www.Hi-Spirits.com/competitions, where full terms and conditions can be found. The regional finals will be held between 4 and 8 September, with the winners heading to Milan later in September.

• Antica Formula is the classic Italian red Vermouth, sweet and with a subtle vanilla aroma. It was created by Antonio Benedetto Carpano, the inventor of the Vermouth category, in 1786. Made by Fratelli Branca Distillerie with a selected infusion of mountain herbs and spices, including saffron, Antica Formula is produced in limited quantities and sealed with a cork in a distinctive brown bottle which includes a reproduction of the original 1786 label. As well as an essential ingredient in many classic cocktail, Antica Formula is ideal to drink over ice with an orange wedge, both as an aperitivo or after dinner.

For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email info@hi-spirits.com, or visit http://www.hi-spirits.com.

The Science of Staritsky & Levitsky Cocktail Competition Launches

H2O Advert
Staritsky & Levitsky premium vodka and award-winning UK importer Emporia Brands are proud to launch the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky as part of their ongoing campaign of H20 Cocktails, launched in 2016.

Launching in partnership with the UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guild), Brand Manager Matthew Dakers is asking for budding bartenders from across the UK to create a unique serve, with a recipe that contains the elements of solid, liquid and gas. Entries are open now and will continue to be accepted until 12th May. The judging panel will select competitors from the submitted entries and invite them down to the final in London on May 22nd 2017.

To qualify, the venue must stock Staritsky & Levitsky vodka, and the recipe to use a minimum of 25ml Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve vodka as the base ingredient. The winning bartender will win themselves a Rotovap for use within their venue.

Inspiration behind their recipe is also needed. Staritsky & Levitsky was founded by a group of vodka enthusiasts, passionate about reviving the heritage and traditions of authentic, small batch vodka distillation in the historic birthplace of the vodka production, so vital to the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky campaign.

For full rules and how to enter, please see the below or speak to either Matthew Dakers (matthew@emporiabrands.com) or a local Emporia Brands representative found at http://www.emporiabrands.com/contact

#H2OCocktails

RULES:

THE COMPETITION IS OPEN TO ALL BARTENDERS, MEMBERS AND NON MEMBERS OF THE UKBG

Please send you recipes to vicepresident@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

  • Ingredients can be measured using a measuring cup/jigger or free poured.
  • Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve will be provided for the final.
  • All other ingredients to be supplied by competitor.
  • Competitors are expected to use their own bar utensils, and glassware to prepare the cocktails.
  • Garnishes will consist only of edible fruit or vegetable.
  • Each competitor shall be limited to six (6) minutes in mixing.

 

COCKTAIL RULES

  • Each competitor must submit a recipe containing a minimum of 25ml of Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve
  • The recipe shall be an original creation.
  • Each competitor must submit a 50-100 words explaining their drink and what inspired their creation

 

 

Follow Staritsky & Levitsky on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StaritskyLevitskyVodka, Twitter @SL_VodkaUK and Instagram at www.instagram.com/sl_vodkauk

St Patrick’s Day Launch for The Cold Irishman Competition

The-Irishman
This St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2017, sees Walsh Whiskey and UK Importer Emporia Brands come together for the UK’s first ever cocktail competition involving The Irishman whiskey.

Focusing on The Irishman Founder’s Reserve expression, both companies are on the lookout for the best innovative twist on their signature serve, The Cold Irishman. With the original recipe seeing a blended combination of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, coffee, half and half and sugar syrup, the competition throws open a variety of options to impress the Walsh family of Bernard and Rosemary.

The award-winning Walsh Whiskey are offering an exclusive trip to their new distillery ‘Royal Oak’, with the chance to experience the range of expressions first hand, as well as the immersive opportunity of a VIP distillery tour located in the heart of barley-growing country, framed by two-hundred-year-old might oaks on the banks of the goodly River Barrow in Ireland’s Ancient East.

With a minimum of 35 ml of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve needed, and a maximum of 5 ingredients (including the base whiskey and excluding garnish) allowed, bartenders also need to explain their inspiration as part of their submission.

To enter, bartenders are asked to submit their details and cocktail recipe to the online registration form located at http://www.emporiabrands.com/coldirishman

Entries will be open from 17th March until 12th May, in which a blind judging will take place of all submissions by some of the top industry figures in whiskey, as well as an Emporia Brands representative visiting the venue to experience the recipe first hand, with the winner announced on 19th May, the day before World Whisky Day. The winner will win the trip to Royal Oak later in 2017 where they will re-create their winning recipe to the Walsh Family, VIP’s and journalists within the distillery itself.

#ColdIrishman

For more information on Walsh Whiskey, please visit http://walshwhiskey.com or follow on Twitter @WalshWhiskey, Facebook at /walshwhiskey and /TheIrishmanWhiskey and Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/walshwhiskey

Finalists Announced at Northern Restaurant & Bar Cocktail Competition with Whitley Neill Dry Gin

Whitley Neill - Gin and Tonic

Finalists announced for the Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Whitley Neill Dry Gin, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime VIP visit to South Africa.

Competitors have been asked to submit one unique drink, containing a minimum of 35 ml of any Whitley Neill Dry Gin expression, and adding inspiration of the gin’s South Africa influence.

Four finalists, chosen by a blind judging panel of gin experts including founder Johnny Neill, have been chosen, and they include;

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi’s Italianissimo, Leeds
Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh
Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London

Each finalist will be invited to the final of the competition at Northern Restaurant & Bar in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd March 2016 at 3:15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast and Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributors for Whitley Neill Dry Gin, and compared by spirit writer Joel Harrison.

The winner will visit South Africa in late 2017 as the guest of Whitley Neill Dry Gin, which has previously beaten off the challenge from the World’s finest gin brands by winning gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014. The visit will also include a 1 day safari.

Northern Restaurant & Bar is the biggest hospitality show in the North. The show’s Spirit Room is the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London. As well as the Casco Viejo cocktail competition, the Drinks Live theatre features a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business. Tickets are free to anyone actively working in the hospitality industry, register now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the UK

Distillers-Final-LogoThis March and April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range, after the initial success of last year’s programme.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland and the Emporia Brands team will be touring fifteen cities as they bring together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and an edition of premium expression 1931, plus a selection of the distillates from which they are blended.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery, St Lucia. Now based on the other side of the island at Roseau, the distillery has been considerably modernized and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. The installation of pot stills in 1998 added considerably to the variety of rums being produced in this highly regarded distillery which received the accolade of Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge, one of six trophies received in six years – a unique achievement.

With the premise of a flavour experience, the tour sees an approach to the range that offers bartenders and key industry figures invited to not only learn about St Lucia, but ideas on how to embrace the versatility of St Lucia Distillers, from the Spiced variety to the rare 1931.

Cities on the tour include Manchester, London, Leeds, Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with Emporia Brands looking to strengthen their campaign as they look ahead to the next instalment of the ‘Chairman’s XI’ with their ever-expanding sales team seeking out some of the UK’s best and brightest to follow in the footsteps of some of the industries key figures, including Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Danny Murphy of Aloha in Liverpool and Adam Binnersley of the MOJO Group.

Places are limited for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 and distillates for the tasting’s. To secure your place, please contact Dave Marsland at dave@emporiabrands.com, stating the session you wish to attend from the list below.

Manchester       Mojo’s, 9th March, 1:30pm

London                 Burlock, 15th March, 2pm

Leeds                    Mojo’s, 15th March, 1:30pm

Brighton              Oki Nami, 21st March, 1pm

Liverpool             Maya, 23rd March, 1:30pm

Birmingham       Island Bar, 4th April, 2pm

Nottingham       Brass Monkey, 5th April, 3pm

Leicester             The Queen of Bradgate, 6th April, 2pm

Newcastle          Alvino’s, 11th April, 1pm

Edinburgh           Reekie Tiki, 16th April, 4pm

Cardiff                  The Dead Canary, 21st April, 2pm

Aberdeen           Bos’n, 23rd April, 3pm

Dundee                 Draffens, 24th April, 4pm

Reading                               Milk, 26th April, 2pm

Glasgow              Distill, 26th April, 4pm

 

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at  www.instagram.com/chairmansreserveuk

Follow Emporia Brands on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands and Instagram at www.instagram.com/emporiabrands

Altos Tequila Launches The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017

TAHONA_2107
Altos Tequila is inviting bartenders across the world to increase their understanding of Tequila, perfect their mixology skills and gain international exposure by entering the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. Considered the world’s leading Tequila education programme, national heats are set to begin this month ahead of the global finale in Mexico in September.

Founded in 2010 by leading bartenders Dré Masso and the late Henry Besant, the Tahona Society welcomes mixologists to ‘Join the Mexican Evolution’ in its 2017 edition in response to the cultural movement in Mexico towards a renewed focus on craft, mastery and sustainability. These values are at the core of the creation of Altos Tequila and are reflected in the Tahona Society programme, as entrants must craft a cocktail that represents sustainable values, celebrates the flavour of agave and can be paired with a variety of authentic Mexican street food.

Local heats are set to take place from this month until September in a record 28 markets, such as USA (Texas, LA and NYC), London, and Paris. Designed to educate bartenders about the quality and provenance of Tequila, the importance of sustainability in bartending, and feature a comparative Tequila tasting, the heats will culminate with the national Tahona Society Cocktail Competition.

The winner from each country will be invited to Mexico for the week-long global Tahona Society Cocktail Competition in September. During the festivities, competitors will take part in a series of masterclasses – led by global bartending legends such as Dré Masso and Mexican agave spirits expert, Alberto Navarro – receive a tour of the Altos distillery and have the opportunity to explore the Los Altos region in the highlands of Mexico, where Altos Tequila is crafted using traditional production methods.

The second and third place winners will also travel to Mexico for the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the country’s ancient tradition of agave spirit production, as well as to guest bartend in one of Mexico City’s leading bars.

The final contest will be judged by a jury including Dré Masso, a worldwide famous surprise guest bartender and the Tahona Society’s 2016 winner, Kelsey Ramage; and will challenge the finalists to create their cocktails with an added local-flavour twist, sustainable values and lead a short presentation and Q&A explaining the rationale behind their serve. The overall winner of the Tahona Society 2017 is set to become the Tahona Society Global Ambassador for one year and will have the opportunity to choose four countries to deliver a Tahona Society event next year.

Dré Masso, co-creator of Altos Tequila, says: “Our mission with the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition is to spread the love and knowledge of authentic Tequila around the world. It is important that we continue to provide support and education for future bartending generations by encouraging sustainability, which is at the heart of our business and at the future of the industry. We are proud of Altos’ sustainability credentials – in fact the total waste from our distillery would fit into a car boot – and we’re hoping this will inspire our 2017 entrants. Previous winners have completely blown us away with their innovation and skill, and I cannot wait to see what this year’s competition holds!”

The 2016 Tahona Society crown was given to Kelsey Ramage from renowned London bar, Dandelyan. Ramage overcame fierce competition from 20 of the world’s most talented bartenders with her winning creation, Never Die. Chosen by the expert panel of judges for its exceptional taste and ingenious use of local ingredients.

Bartenders from around the world can follow the competition and register their interest on the Tahona Society Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TahonaSociety and are invited to contact Altos Tequila representatives in their markets for more details.

World’s Most Prestigious Cocktail Festival Announces Programme For Its Edinburgh Debut

tales-of-the-cocktailTales of the Cocktail® on Tour heads to capital for its first foray out of The Americas.

WHAT: Tales of the Cocktail on Tour is to reveal the programme for its much anticipated visit to Edinburgh in April. The four-day extravaganza will see leading hospitality professionals from all over the world head to Scotland’s capital for a series of events designed to educate, illuminate and entertain bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from the city and beyond.

WHY: The world famous annual conference and festival takes place in New Orleans every July. It also goes ‘On Tour’ once a year and after visiting Buenos Aires, Vancouver and Mexico City, it is heading to Europe for the first time. Edinburgh has been selected due to its highly accomplished and sophisticated cocktail culture. In a country with such a fantastic distilling heritage, the city’s bartenders have a great hunger for knowledge and will be looking to learn from illustrious speakers attending the 2017 event.

HOW: Tickets for Tales of the Cocktail on Tour will go on sale on 9th January, upon announcement of the initial programme. Tickets are available from http://www.talesofthecocktail.com, priced $329.00 USD. The event runs from Saturday 1st – Tuesday 4th April 2017 at the Roxburgh Hotel and bars around the city.

Auchentoshan Announces UK Bartenders To Join The World’s First New Malt Order

 

auchentoshan-bitters_marc-sethi-53782

On Monday 19 September, seven of the UK’s most creative talent from behind top city bars went head-to-head to prove they have what it takes to become a founding member of Auchentoshan’s new global bartender club; New Malt Order.

This is no ordinary bartender competition; it’s so much more. The prize? To create the very first of its kind, a new limited edition Auchentoshan® expression for distribution in the on-trade in 2017. Created by bartenders, for bartenders.

Seven went behind the industrial chic bar of London’s experimental Peg + Patriot, two were left standing.

Jack Wareing from the capital’s award-winning Dandelyan and Georgia Billing from Plateau in the heart of the city’s business district proved victorious.

Welcome to your UK bartenders. Welcome to the New Malt Order.

 

auchentoshan-bitters_marc-sethi-62171
Georgia Billing from Plateau

 

UK FINALS
Shortlisted bartenders from across the UK unleashed their fearless ingenuity to create the refreshingly different Auchentoshan & Ale, using their own bespoke bitters created to give a new spin to the single malt’s signature serve.

Mike Aikman; Owner of Bramble, Last Word Saloon and Lucky Liquor Co, John Cashman; International Brand Ambassador for Beam Suntory, and Amanda Humphrey; Mixxit Brand Ambassador scored each serve against three criteria; Artisanal, Alternative and Approachable.

The bartenders went on to let their individuality run riot to create a bespoke cocktail that enhances the smooth and versatile single malt – triple-distilled to every last drop.
Jack Wareing and Georgia Billing demonstrated their flair for shaking up the world of single malts with inventive bitters recipes and whisky cocktails that saw them triumph in the first annual New Malt Order competition.

This year, they will join 10 exceptional bartenders from around the world to form the Auchentoshan® New Malt Order 2016.

Georgia Billing said of her win; “I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”

Mike Aikman commented; “To involve bartenders in the creation of a new whisky is an innovative idea and one which I will follow with interest. It’s an incredible honour for the New Malt Order winners to get to spend time with the Auchentoshan Master Blender, Rachel Barrie, and have their own product on back bars in the future.

“Jack’s presentation was very well thought out and he used interesting ingredients. His was the only ‘savoury’ drink we saw, which was an excellent showcase for the tasting profile of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Georgia’s scientific approach was unique. Her bitters were excellent and her second drink was proof that sometimes keeping drinks simple is the best tactic.”

John Cashman added; “As Auchentoshan is the only single malt triple-distilled to every last drop, we are looking for bartenders who also like to do things differently, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and use our whisky to make exceptional drinks. Jack brings a classic modern bartending skill, while Georgia brings a scientific approach to her bartending.

“I was impressed with Jack’s foraging approach for his bitters and this theme continued with his cocktail, which was influenced by druids and mythical times. Georgia’s style was more matter-of-fact but her innate understanding of flavour summarised in her own words, ‘what grows together, goes together’, took her drinks to a higher level. I’m excited by the prospect of Jack and Georgia joining our other 10 finalists from around the world to helping us create a brand new Auchentoshan expression; by bartenders, for bartenders.”

The Winning Entrants;

auchentoshan-bitters_marc-sethi-62272
Butter Scotch 1800

Georgia Billing, Plateau

“I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”

Butter Scotch 1800

Ingredients:

45ml Auchentoshan American Oak
5ml Demerara Salt and Pepper rich syrup (Georgia’s own recipe)
2 dashes citrus spice bitters (Georgia’s own recipe)

Method:

Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker, shake well and serve over an ice block in to a rocks glass. Add a drop of bitters on to the ice block for aroma and colour. Serve with a lemon peel (oil is optional) and butterscotch candy on the side to be sucked alongside the drink for added buttery taste

auchentoshan-bitters_marc-sethi-53891
Jackie Bird

Jack Wareing, Dandelyan

“New Malt Order is my first real competition and I entered because I love whisky and wanted to push myself to create something special, on a different scale than I had ever worked before. It’s the chance to make friends with some of the most engaging and passionate people on the planet, as well as tapping into a knowledge base I otherwise would not have been able to get close to. It’s great to see brands as prestigious as Auchentoshan making whisky fun and accessible again.”

Jackie Bird

Ingredients:
50ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
4 dashes of Nine Herbs Bitters (Jack’s own recipe)
25ml pineapple cordial ( 3:4 pineapple shrub to pineapple juice)

Half a melon baller of Jack’s homemade raspberry and Campari sorbet (made with fresh raspberries and Campari with Xanthan gum)

Method:

Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass.

UK Shortlist:
Andrei Marian, Four Sisters
Ernest Reid, Smith and Wollensky
Georgia Billing, Plateau
Harrison Knox, Archer Street
Jack Wareing, Dandelyan
Michele Raina, Skylon
Sam Mathieson, Dine

 

Chivas Masters Starts Search For Top Bartending Talents

Chivas Masters 2016 - Shanghai skyline

Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has commenced the search for the 2016 Global Chivas Master, where competitors this year will be judged not only on their bartending abilities but also on their demonstration of Chivas’ values of brotherhood and generosity. This month sees national heats start around the world, which will for the first time culminate with the grand final in Shanghai in July 2016, celebrating success through teamwork, collaboration and mentorship.

The national stages will challenge entrants to recreate Chivas Regal’s journey across the globe. Taking inspiration from the classic cocktails of New York to the booming bars of Shanghai, via their local cocktail scene, entrants will be asked to create three drinks that enhance Chivas Regal’s smooth, generous style and epitomise its international appeal in order to reach the grand final.

The most talented competitor from each market will then be invited to spend five immersive days in Shanghai at the Chivas Masters Global Final, where they will undertake a number of key challenges following workshops from the industry’s best. Throughout five days of challenges and inspirational masterclasses, competitors will be judged on their bartending talent and ability to lead, mentor and inspire a team by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

Collaboration will be rewarded this year by granting a winning team at the Global Final a once in a lifetime trip to The Tales of the Cocktail 2016 in New Orleans to learn from some of the industry’s most renowned bartenders. A further prize will be awarded to the 2016 Global Chivas Master, who will earn a bespoke trip to one of the world’s most iconic bars in a city of their choice to create a signature Chivas cocktail as their lasting contribution to the global competition.

Max Warner, International Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal comments: “Mentorship and collaboration are traits found at the heart of the bartending industry. We want to celebrate this spirit of camaraderie through the Chivas Masters 2016 competition by encouraging entrants to celebrate success with their peers. We will be looking for competitors who are able to demonstrate a true spirit of leadership as well as excellent bartending talent.”

Bartenders with the ambition to become the next Chivas Master are encouraged to get in touch with their local market Pernod Ricard representative for details on how to enter.

 

A Look At The Linie Awards 2015

Linie Awards

Last week saw myself attend the annual Nordic extravaganza, the Linie Awards 2015. The event is the culmination of the best that the Nordic countries have to offer from the world of food and drink, with respective competitions to find the number one dish and cocktail for the year. In its 10th year, 2015 saw it being held within Stockholm, Sweden for the first time, away from its usual seat in Norway as the main support comes from the Norwegian aquavit brand Linie, but this was to show the growth of the brand across Europe, and for the first time included Germany within its proceedings.

Held within Stockholm’s City Hall, the evening consisted of some of the best VIP’s, bartenders, chefs and journalists from across the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, as well as Germany attending, with a splash from the United Kingdom as my own country starts to take on the quite underrated category of aquavit.

The first finals of the evening saw each winner of their respective country heats go head-to-head behind the bar, aiming to create a signature serve that will highlight the Linie aquavit. Sondre T. Kasin from Morgenstierne in Oslo represented Norway with his creation Valkyrie, seeing a shaken mix of homemade quince puree, Linie that came infused with blackcurrant leaves and stems, green Chartreuse and Norwegian honey syrup, served over a large ice cube and graced with a blackcurrant branch. Jere Vihervaara of Son of a Punch in Helsinki represented Finland with his serve Hamask, seeing Linie mixed with egg, seasoned sour milk syrup, celery bitters and a sprig of rosemary, all served in a classic coupette glass and a burnt sugar cane and absinthe lit rosemary sprig.

Rolf Bender from the Oak Room in Norrebro in Denmark came to the final with a recipe he names The Scandinavian Flip, seeing fresh red currants, homemade red currant syrup, Pedro Xeminez Fernando de Castella sherry, Linie and egg come together with a garnish of freeze dried red currants. Moritz Billina of Falk’s Bar in Munich put together his Punainenmeri which saw cloudberry jelly, Belsazar dry vermouth, Manzanilla sherry and Linie shaken and served within a cocktail glass. This came garnished with a flick of Belsazar red vermouth for decoration.

The winning cocktail by Charlotta Berggren - Linie in Sight
The winning cocktail by Charlotta Berggren – Linie in Sight

It was to be Sweden though that took home the crown of the best cocktail of the evening, as Charlotta Berggren of Svartengrens in Stockholm impressed with her creation Linie in Sight. It saw Linie, punsch (a traditional liqueur in Sweden produced from arrack), lemon juice, carrot juice and sugar syrup combined and shaken, then served into a coupette glass.

A three course meal was entwined with the finals, which also saw Finland take the crown for the chefs via Taneli Myllyvirta of Restaurant OLO in Helsinki. On hand through the night were three expressions of Linie itself; the pre-journey, regular and double cask port expressions, going alongside last years winning recipe from Oskar K.J. Johansson with Kumminjanne. 

Winning her first ever cocktail competition, Charlotta has said this has given her the confidence to branch out and contribute to other competitions in Sweden and become a force within the industry. I say good luck to her, and It will be interesting to see how the UK takes its palate to aquavit in the next year or two, especially when you have the likes of Monica Berg, bar manager of Pollen Street Social in London and Oslo native flying the flag here with her new Linie Honorary Award.

So aquavit. Have you tried it yet?