Thrilling MONIN Cup UK Final Set For London Cocktail Week

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MONIN will showcase the country’s most exciting new bartending stars during London Cocktail Week, with the thrilling climax of its national cocktail competition.

Following a series of hotly-contested regional heats at top bars around the country, eight young bartenders – one taking part in her first ever cocktail competition – will travel from as far as Aberdeen in a bid to lift the MONIN Cup UK trophy at the Marriott County Hall on Tuesday October 4. The overall winner will represent the UK at the Global Final in Paris in December, competing against their peers from around the world.

The competition has seen some extraordinary cocktails and mocktails so far, with competitors using innovative and on-trend glassware, garnishes and flavour combinations to showcase their skills and, of course, the MONIN product range.

Daniel Davis, MONIN’s new on-trade brand ambassador, said: “The MONIN Cup is a fantastic event; it enables young mixologists to dip a toe in the crazy world of cocktail competitions in a very supportive and encouraging environment. This is my first experience and I’m completely blown away by the level of talent on display!

“We want to uncover the next generation of industry stars, and I’m confident our UK Champion will do us proud at the Global Final in Paris .”

On Monday October 3, London Cocktail Week trade attendees can also take part in an exclusive MONIN masterclass with Peter Dorelli; a unique opportunity to learn from an industry legend. The former head of The American Bar at The Savoy will dispense wisdom and advice gleaned from 50-plus years behind the bar, offering a wealth of experience to help today’s young bartenders further their own careers.

For the second year running, MONIN is headline trade sponsor for London Cocktail Week. This year MONIN has teamed up with 18 participating bars to showcase their premium quality syrups in the signature serves of venues such as The Lighterman at Kings Cross, MAP Maison in Haggerston, Le Point de la Tour, The Escapologist and more. In addition, MONIN will also be sponsoring one of DrinkUp.London Pop Up Bar’s classic cocktails, Kir Royal, which will be based on a serve of an iconic London bar using Monin Crème de Cassis liqueur.

DATES FOR YOUR LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK DIARY:

An afternoon with MONIN and Peter Dorelli
Monday October 3, noon – 3pm, London Marriott Hotel County Hall

Learn some new tricks at an exclusive masterclass with the legendary Peter Dorelli, followed by a masterclass in partnership with Jägermeister.

MONIN Cup UK Final
Tuesday October 4, noon – 6pm, London Marriott Hotel County Hall

Watch the UK Final of the prestigious MONIN Cup; a biennial cocktail competition that seeks to uncover the next generation of exciting young mixologists. Contenders from regional heats must make one cocktail and one mocktail using any flavour of MONIN syrup and their choice of spirit. The overall winner will go on to represent the UK at the MONIN Cup Global Final in Paris in December, competing against bartenders from all over the world.

For more information on London Cocktail Week or to purchase your Festival Pass , visit: https://drinkup.london/cocktailweek/.

Monin At London Cocktail Week

UPPL Final 2014-0649

Monin UK is celebrating London Cocktail Week 2015 with a host of events, competitions and master classes.

To showcase its unbeaten range of over 100 flavours, the global syrup brand has partnered with fifty bars across the capital for a range of signature LCW serves, including La Perla, Bird of Smithfield and Shoreditch favourite Barrio East

Monin will be based at Barrio East throughout the week, and will stage its first ever amateur cocktail competition there in partnership with premium tequila Herradura. Visitors to all three Barrio bars across London (Central, North and East) will also have the chance to win an iPad in Monin’s ‘Guess the Flavour’ competition.

UPPL Monin & Plantation Bartenders Challenge Cup – London Heat and Grand Final (Public)

Monday 6 October, from 5pm – London Cocktail Club Shoreditch  

This Underground Punch Pong League was launched in 2013 by JJ Goodman. This summer, the UPPL travelled the UK , pitting pairs of bartenders against each other in a ‘Beer Pong’ style tournament – but instead of beer, players used the London Cocktail Club’s Black Pearl Punch, using Monin Syrups and Plantation Rum. On the opening night of LCW, the London regional heat will be followed by the Grand Final, where all the regional winners will compete for the title of ‘UPPL – Monin & Plantation Bartenders Challenge Cup 2015’ champions.

As well as bragging rights as national Punch Pong champions and an impressive trophy (pictured with last year’s champions Conor Brennan and John O’Reilly from Love & Death, Inc. in Belfast), the overall winners will receive tickets to an NFL game at Wembley Stadium.

Monin Syrups Seminar (Trade)

Thursday 8 October, 2pm – Barrio East, Shoreditch High Street

Join Monin UK Brand Ambassador James Coston for a talk on the global Monin brand. This one-hour session will cover the company’s 100-year history, production process and ingredients and an insight into the latest flavour trends, followed by a demonstration of how to use Monin syrups in a range of classic cocktails.

Monin & Herradura Cocktail Competition (Public)

Thursday 8 October, 6pm – Barrio East

Calling all amateur mixologists – there’s a £250 bar tab up for grabs! Join James Coston from Monin and Nicci Stringfellow from Herradura Tequlia for a masterclass on the two premium brands, complete with hints and tips on how to make top twisted tequila cocktails. Entrants will then have 30 minutes to split into teams and come up with their own cocktail recipe, before presenting it to the judges at the bar. The winning team will receive a £250 bar tab to be spent at any Barrio bar. Entry is £20pp including refreshments.

For more information or to register, visit the London Cocktail Week website.

UPPL Finalists

  • Belfast – APOC, Gareth Shaw & Joe Todd
  • Leeds – The Brotherhood, James Steward & Ben New
  • Newcastle – The Cocktail Project, David Cooke & Hamed Fardoust
  • Liverpool – 81 Ltd, Joe Wild & Jake Murphy
  • Brighton – Lucky Voice, Naomi Mason & Paul De Newtown
  • Manchester – Crazy Pedro’s, Chris Jordan & Chris Powers
  • London – TBC

Next Stop Paris For UK Monin Cup Champion

Joe Wild - Monin

Joe Wild from Jenny’s in Liverpool is heading for Paris to compete against mixologists from around the world, following a resounding victory at the UK Monin Cup Final.

Joe impressed the judges with his cocktail, All for One & One For All, featuring Monin’s new Lemongrass syrup, Monin Caribbean syrup, Monin Rose syrup and Monin Spicy Mango syrup, vodka, lemon juice, Prosecco and egg white. He will now go on to represent the UK in the International Monin Cup Final in Paris on December 1.

The UK Final took place on the Tuesday of London Cocktail Week at the Monin Studio in Hoxton Square . Eight young bartenders from across the country shook, muddled and stirred their way through the competition in which Joe Macbeth from Lacehouse in Nottingham took second place and third place went to Jake Mellish from Boilermaker in Nottingham , who also impressed the judges with his brand research.

Each finalist presented their take on the theme “If the UK were a cocktail” to a panel of judges including UK Monin Cup 2012 winner William Humphery, The Cocktail Lovers’ Gary Sharpen and Monin Brand Manager, Darril Ling . The drinks were judged on taste, balance, originality and visual presentation, with points also awarded for performance and interaction with the judges. The only stipulation was that each cocktail must contain at least 20ml of product from Monin’s extensive range of more than 140 syrups, fruit purees and liqueurs.

Competitors were then quizzed on their Monin product knowledge and put through their paces with a taste test, requiring them to blind taste ten Monin different syrups and correctly guess each flavour.

As well as the honour of representing his country at the International Monin Cup Final in Paris on December 1, Joe also wins an all-expenses-paid trip to Monin’s headquarters in Bourges , France .

James Coston, Monin UK brand ambassador, who compèred the event, said: “The competition produced some fantastic drinks, all of which showed flair, innovation and an exceptionally high level of skill. It’s been really encouraging to see just how much young bartending talent we have here in the UK , and we’re delighted with the judges’ decision. I can’t wait to see Joe take on the world at the International Monin Cup Final in December.”

Darril Ling , Monin Brand Manager, said: “The sheer variety of cocktails produced at the UK Monin Cup Final was really impressive. As well as showcasing our best and brightest mixologists, this competition is also about demonstrating the versatility of the Monin product range – and Joe’s cocktail is a perfect example of this.”

All For One And One For AllAll For One & One For All

5ml Monin Caribbean syrup
5ml Monin Lemongrass syrup
5ml Monin Rose syrup
5ml Monin Spicy Mango syrup
15ml egg white
25ml lemon juice
50ml vodka
Prosecco to finish

Shake ingredients and serve straight up in a coupette topped with Prosecco and garnished with a rose bud.

Monin Trophy Up For Grabs At London Cocktail Week 2014

UPPL

Monin UK is celebrating London Cocktail Week 2014 with a host of free events, competitions and master classes – including the UK Final of the prestigious Monin Cup. The syrup brand has also partnered with bars across the capital for a range of special LCW cocktail menus, showcasing its range of over 100 flavours.

UPPL Monin & Plantation Bartenders Challenge Cup Grand Final (Public)
Monday 6 October, 7pm – Arts Theatre London

This Underground Punch Pong League was launched last year by JJ Goodman . This summer, the UPPL travelled the UK , pitting pairs of bartenders against each other in a ‘Beer Pong’ style tournament – but instead of beer, players used the London Cocktail Club’s Black Pearl Punch, using Monin Syrups and Plantation Rum. On the opening night of LCW, the regional winners will compete for the title of ‘UPPL – Monin & Plantation Bartenders Challenge Cup 2014’ champions. In addition to eternal glory and a shiny trophy, the winning duo will receive a complete Punch Pong kit for their bar plus a VIP night out in London for themselves and two other members of their bar team.

Monin Cup UK Final (Trade only)
Tuesday 7 October, 4.30pm – Monin Studio London , Hoxton Square

Monin has gathered some of the best and most exciting young bartending talent from across the UK for the final of this prestigious cocktail competition, compered by Monin UK brand ambassador James Coston. Finalists from 10 regional heats must make one cocktail with the theme “If the UK was a cocktail…” using any flavour of Monin syrup and their choice of spirit. The overall winner will go on to represent the UK at the Monin Cup International Final in Paris on 1 December, competing against mixologists from all over the world.

Monin & Jet Chill – Smoking Cocktails (Trade only)
Friday 10 October, 11am & 1pm – Monin Studio London , Hoxton Square

Jet Chill will showcase the world’s first dry ice drinks system at the Monin Studio with two three-hour master classes. Jet Chill directors Colin Myers and Robert Flunder and Monin UK Brand Ambassador James Coston will create innovative and exciting cocktails that best demonstrate the machine and how it can increase profitability in your bar, club or restaurant.

To attend any of these events, please RSVP to James Coston at jcoston@b-opie.com. For more information on London Cocktail Week and to purchase your wristband, visit http://www.londoncocktailweek.com

The Black Pearl Tour – Docking In A City Near You

2013 Punch Pong final

The nation’s bartenders have the chance to show off their swashbuckling mixing skills this summer as The Black Pearl Tour takes to the road with exciting competitions, tutored tastings and training with experts from Monin and Plantation Rum.

The Black Pearl Tour visits 10 locations up and down the UK and features workshops with both Monin and Plantation followed by regional heats of the 2014 UK Monin Cup – all finished off with the Underground Punch Pong League’s (UPPL) Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup.

The successful individuals and teams will compete for places in the grand finals of both competitions during London Cocktail Week in October.

MONIN CUP

For the Monin Cup regional heats, contestants have eight minutes to make an alcoholic cocktail using at least 20ml of any Monin syrup or puree. The UK final will be held in the new Monin Studio in Shoreditch, with the overall winner representing the UK at the International Monin Cup Final in Paris in December. Entrants must be aged 27 or under – to enter, submit your cocktail recipe here.

UPPL – MONIN & PLANTATION BARTENDERS’ CHALLENGE CUP

The Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup was founded in 2013 by JJ Goodman from the London Cocktail Club, and supported by Monin brand ambassador James Coston. The competition took the UK bar scene by storm as bartenders competed against each other in ‘beer pong’-style tournaments. This year, the signature UPPL punch is The Black Pearl, which contains Plantation rum and Monin Orgeat and Grenadine syrups and is currently on the menu at the London Cocktail Club.

James Coston, Monin’s UK brand ambassador, said: “The Monin Cup is a keenly-contested international challenge to be the best of the best in which expert judges look for the highest standards of taste, presentation, consistency, creativity and style. Entry to one of the regional heats also gives you and a colleague the chance to take part in the more informal Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup later that evening. The whole tour is a great opportunity for bartenders across the country to learn about our huge product range, but also to have fun and show how creative they can be.”

To find out more and to sign up for the workshops, Monin Cup and the UPPL Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup, visit http://www.punchpong.com.

The Black Pearl Tour – Schedule

The dates and locations of the regional heats are as follows – all regional heats start at 1pm.

Cardiff – Monday 9 June – Maddison
Bristol – Tuesday 10 June – Big Chill
Nottingham – Monday 23 June – Boilermaker
Birmingham – Tuesday 24 June – Island Bar
Manchester – Tuesday 8 July – Luck, Lust Liquor & Burn
Liverpool – Wednesday 9 July – Salt Dog Slims
Leeds – Wednesday 16 July – Jake’s Bar & Grill
Glasgow – Tuesday 22 July – Blue Dog
Belfast – Wednesday 23 July – Love & Death
London – Tuesday 29 July – London Cocktail Club – Oxford Circus

Underground Punch Pong League Grand Final Opens LCW 2013

UPPL

WHO WILL BE CROWNED UNDERGROUND PUNCH PONG LEAGUE CHAMPIONS?

 

Bartenders from across the UK and Ireland are in training for the ultimate battle, as they prepare for the grand final of the Underground Punch Pong League – Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup, on Monday October 7.

The grand final takes place at the ‘London Punch Pong Arena’ – also known at the Arts Theatre London – with an after-party at the Seven Dials Club, on the opening night of London Cocktail Week 2013. Fourteen teams of two mixologists from around the country will fight it out to win a trip to Paris , and organisers want to fill the venue with supporters to cheer them on.

The Covent Garden Cocktail Club will be serving the top three punches all night long, at only £4 per cup of punch with an LCW wrist band.

Founded by JJ Goodman and sponsored by Monin and Plantation Rum, the Punch Pong craze has taken the UK and Irish bar scene by storm over the past six weeks, with bartenders competing against each other in a ‘beer pong’-style tournament, with one difference – the beer is replaced with delicious punch. At each of the 12 regional heats, every team drew a Monin syrup flavour at random which was then used as the foundation for creating their signature recipe.

James Coston, Monin’s UK brand ambassador, said: “Over the past few weeks it’s been great to see bartenders around the country, from Bristol to Edinburgh , really rise to the challenge and take the UPPL into their hearts. There’s been some fierce competition, but there’s no telling who will take the Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup at the grand final. With Punch Pong, anything can happen!”

JJ Goodman said: “Our Punch Pong finalists represent the best of the best, but there can only be one winning team. We want as big and raucous a crowd possible to cheer on the finalists so come down to the Arts Theatre on October 7 and support your bartending brethren.”

The Grand Final of the Underground Punch Pong League – Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup kicks off at the Arts Theatre London at 5pm on Monday October 7; entry is free of charge.  For more information, click here.

UPPL Finalists

Bristol The Big Chill Colin Macy Nick Jones
Central London LCC James Hopkins Kate Sharpe
West London The Rum Kitchen Thomas Ward Al Mcmurdo
Birmingham Island Bar Mike Beedon Ed Shawcross
Liverpool El Bandito Gwen Prior Tony Ynot Roland
Manchester The Liquor Store Danny Bigg-Wither Andrew Knapper
Leeds Roadhouse Oliver Pluck Ross Millar
Edinburgh  Missoula Scott Belcher Duncan Robb
Belfast Love & Death Inc Patrick Logue Matt Knight
Dublin The Gibson Hotel Cian Connellan Sean Allen
Wild Card – Cardiff Pourfection David Whitford Bret Sullivan-Bissett
Wild Card – West London Portobello Star Adam Mcleen Michael Koechlin
Wild Card – Liverpool ALOHA Ryan Mcmahon

Simon Taylor

Wild Card – Manchester Hula Chris Mosey

Paul Hutton

 

The Underground Punch Pong League – Coming to a City Near You

UPPL

London Cocktail Club founder, JJ Goodman , has teamed up with Monin UK to launch a national competition like no other – the Underground Punch Pong League (UPPL).

The UPPL is free to enter, and kicks off with the Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup; a ‘battle of the bars’ which will travel to 12 locations around the country throughout September.

At each regional heat, eight bars will select a team of two bartenders to represent them. The UK bar scene’s most creative bartenders will compete against each other in a ‘beer pong’-style tournament, with one difference – the beer is replaced with delicious punch. Each team will draw a Monin syrup flavour at random, which they must then use as the foundation for creating their signature recipe.

The successful teams will compete for a coveted place in the grand final at the Covent Garden Cocktail Club during London Cocktail Week, on Monday 7 October.

As well as eternal fame and glory, the winning team will also bag a day trip to Paris for four, where they can visit some of the world’s greatest cocktail bars and sample some fantastic French food.

James Coston, Monin’s UK brand ambassador, said: “We’re really excited to be supporting the UPPL. The Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup is a great opportunity for bartenders to have fun and show how creative they can be with their punch recipes – and of course, an opportunity to be crowned UPPL MONIN Bartenders’ Challenge Cup Champions during London Cocktail Week!”

JJ Goodman said: “The UPPL is the first of its kind destined for world domination. In true LCC style, any bar is welcome to sign up, and the Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup will separate the weak from the strong.”

To enter your team into the Monin Bartenders’ Challenge Cup and for more information on the Underground Punch Pong League, visit http://www.punchpong.com.
Schedule of play
The dates and locations of the regional heats are as follows and all regional heats start at 5pm.

· BRISTOL – Monday September 2 – Big Chill
· CARDIFF – Tuesday September 3 – Lab22
· CENTRAL LONDON – Sunday September 3 – London Cocktail Club, Oxford Circus
· EAST LONDON – Monday September 9 – Barrio North
· WEST LONDON – Tuesday September 10 – Trailer Happiness
· BIRMINGHAM – Monday September 16 – Island Bar
· LIVERPOOL – Tuesday September 17 – Salt Dog Slim’s
· MANCHESTER – Wednesday September 18 – Mojo
· LEEDS – Thursday September 19 – Smokestack
· EDINBURGH – Sunday September 22 – The Voodoo Rooms
· BELFAST – Monday September 23 – Love & Death
· DUBLIN – Tuesday September 24 – 37 Dawson Street
· UK FINAL – Monday October 7 2013 at 5pm – Covent Garden Cocktail Club / Arts Theatre

Cocktail of the Week – The Easter Martini

The latest Cocktail of the Week by collaborator and Head Barmen at the Vineyard at Stockcross David Coveney shows how Easter and chocolate don’t always have to come covered in foil. For the holiday, or indeed any other day of the year, he’s gone for a little spice –

The Easter Martini

The Easter Martini
The Easter Martini

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

35 ml Ron de Jeremy Spiced Rum
35 ml Akashi Tai Umeshu
20 ml Monin Chocolate Syrup
2 long dashes of Adams Aphrodite Bitters

Method – 

Shake all the ingredients over ice and fine strain into a Martini glass.

David mentions that even though it sounds sweet, it’s a rather well-balanced drink. If you add a twist of lemon, it makes a perfect aperitif, and a large twist orange works well when you want to enjoy something by the fire at the end of the night. He even recommends to drink it with some dark chocolate on the side.

 

Australasia Review

Australasia - Smokey Old Fashioned

If you’ve ever ventured into the Spinningfield’s area of Manchester you’ll notice many a bar and restaurant serving businessmen, ladies who lunch or myself propping the bar up as I dive through the drinks menu. One such time happened last week, at a rather well-known yet unknown venue named Australasia. I say unknown due to its rather unique entrance – a triangle shard of glass sticking out of the ground with a door leading to a staircase. I remember I use to pass without realising it was there, and bewildered when it first opened of where this place was. Now I’m familiar, and after a chance meeting with the venues new BDM Gill Andrews and Bar Manager Jenny (of the Hilton’s Cloud 23 fame), I can report back to you all with wonderful memories.

As mentioned, I’ve been here before and have always kicked myself for not coming back many a time since, but with whispers of their new cocktail menu arriving shortly, coupled with food and wine menu revamp too, Australasia is breathing new life into their underground den. The drinks menu itself is simple, no descriptions, just names only. Daring but it works because the bartenders have to work to sell you a drink. You feel looked after knowing that the gentleman or lady behind the bar actually knows their stuff, the ingredients within and why you will love each and every one of them.

Oh, and also how to make them consistent.

Round The Twist
Round The Twist

For example, the Smokey Old Fashioned. A base of Woodford Reserve coupled with maple syrup and bitters over an ice ball. Smoke, courtesy of oak chips via a chemical flask, adds the sense of magic to the drink, as well as aromas which linger even when the smoke has cleared. Fantastic, and I’ve only ever had them from their fellow Alchemist. Consistency really is the key for these kind of places.

A couple of other new delights to wet your appetite over the next few months include Bushfire and Alice Spring Punch. Bushfire has the combination of Grey Goose Citroen, Benedictine, fresh grapefruit, lemon juice and sugar syrup with a good sprig of thyme soaked in Sunset Very Strong Rum and lit. Slightly sour for my liking as I’m a man with a sweet tooth, but the freshness made this a winner for me. The herbal Benedictine and grapefruit mix well with the citrus flavours, and the hint of the Sunset rum gives it a slight kick if sipped. Alice Spring Punch blended Russian Standard vodka with lychee purée Briottet lychee liqueur, Monin Hibiscus, fresh lemon and topped with Australian ‘Champagne’. A lovely tangy hit from the Australasian ‘Champagne’, with the hibiscus and lemon punching well against the double dose of lychee and vodka. Fantastic lingering sweetness too.

The highlight of my visit for me personally came in the form of a short drink named Round The Twist. Using Russian Standard vodka, stem ginger purée  fresh lychee, lime juice and velvet falernum, it created a well-balanced, mouth-watering drink that offered freshness with a lingering velvet and lychee flavour.

So the above gives a good idea of what to expect from the Australasia team, but of course some of the staples have been kept including the Pineapple and Jasmin Daiquiri, Ladyboy Martini and The Australian Porn Star (£7.95 each). Coupled with a menu that includes wine, both Champagne and sparkling wines from Australia, New Zealand and England and a good offering of seven Sake to go with your oysters, sushi and tempura delights, Australasia really does cover all the basis that you expect.

As mentioned, new menus are coming out, I’d book yourself in before you miss them.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.