The final of the MolecularMixology.co.uk and El Dorado took place at Lounge Lover in London this Tuesday…
…and BarLifeUK was there to judge and bring you the results.
As Messer’s Wallace and Torode would say overly enthusiastically – Cocktail Competitions don’t get more Molecular than this! The finalists were made up of the two winners from each of the 4 regional heats – London, Brighton, Leeds and Edinburgh and boy-oh-boy had these guys been working hard on their creations.
Each competitor had 30 minutes to present two drinks, and they used this time to dazzle the four judges (yours truly, the Award Winning Stefanie Holt from El Dorado, Nick Wykes and Andrew Mullins from MolecularMixology.co.uk) using a variety of techniques and gadgets.
A crowd of excited onlookers wooed, ahhhed, laughed and cheered as the competitors brought the products of their imaginations to life. Each competitor’s presentation was as unique as their drinks, including a medical examination which resulted in the judges being prescribed medicine in alcoholic pill-form from Michael Stringer and his ill-fitting doctors coat.
Both Maxwell Whitney and Dave West got their smoke on, with Max’s homemade smoker giving some El Dorado fantastic peanut qualities and Dave’s Rhubarb Rum Bullion getting a smoked hit inside a jam jar.
Add to this Mark Austin’s Milky Bar glassware giving his El Dorado Rocker its sea legs and Martin Duffy giving us 5 different types of caviar to accompany our rum (beer, red wine, coffee, jasmine tea and Coca-Cola for the record), deciding the winners was not going to be an easy job.
The life of a judge is not always harmonious and the four of us scuttled away to our little den to argue the merits of everyone’s drinks. After the now customary ‘discussion’ between Stef and Andrew the top three were chosen:
3rd place went to Joe Petch who got the biggest cheer of the day when he unveiled his El Dorado Bloody Mary Tomato plant. This 3 foot high plant was laden with cherry tomatoes that had been infused with an El Dorado Bloody Mary mix served with toast, El Dorado infused Camembert and gin infused cucumber. We could more than happily start any (and possibly every) day with that combination – superb (see below in comments for his specs).
2nd place was Quentin Berode’s who was ably supported by his family including his brother who had flown over from France to cheer him on. During his presentation we learnt about his pre-competition routine which was probably more information his mum needed to know (all I will say is check out this story for your answer). His offerings of a cocktail involving Fat Washed Foie Gras and chocolate bitters and a Strawberry Daiquiri foam with a Mushroom Soy Sauce topping were not only experimental but fantastically balanced with all the individual elements coming through.
The winner however was Jon Hughes from Sygn in Edinburgh whose long trip down was rewarded with £500 cash, a bottle of El Dorado 21YO, a Poly Science smoking gun and a caviar box. His Smoked Salmon gin creation Ex Aqua was a judges favourite and his Two-Step Mojito showed molecular mixology in a clear and interesting way. Both recipes are below.
All up it was a fantastic competition and huge congratulations have to go out to the bartenders who put in more time and imagination to their drinks than I have seen in a very, very long time. Also a thank you to Lounge Lover for hosting the comp and to everyone that came down to support the competitors.
Jon’s winning drinks:
Two-Step Mojito (part one)
- 35ml El Dorado 3YO
- 10ml Lime juice
- 1 Barspoon caster suger
- 1 Dash Boker’s Bitters
- 8-10 Mint leaves
Combine with crushed ice in a small highball. Top with soda and garnish with a mint sprig.
- 30ml El Dorado 3YO
- 20ml Clarified lime juice
- 5ml Sugar syrup
- 1 Dash Boker’s Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. No garnish
- 45ml Smoked salmon infused No.3 Gin (10g of smoked salmon to 100mls No.3 Gin)
- 15ml Martini Rosato
- 5ml Sugar syrup
- 20ml Lemon juice
- 1 Dash egg white
Combine all ingredients shaker and dry shake to emulsify.
Shake with ice, fine strain into flute, garnish with smoked salmon roll wrapped in spring onion on a cocktail stick.