It’s a Reetmatch, Beeyatch

How not to run a cocktail competition

Ed Hardcastle from Harrogate popping his Reetmatch cherry

When Rematch Beeyatch arrived on the scene it seemed to float on the crest of an unbranded wave, a breath of fresh air. It was fun, crazy and full of “2 fingers up” contempt for the establishment. To the extent that Industry stalwarts such as Angus Winchester bemoaned the negative impact it was having on the UK bar community.

The UKBG mark you down for handling fruit, yet in this competition straining your daiquiris through your fingers was positively encouraged. It has gone round the world several times, Australia love it (they still do want to be on the British bandwagon don’t they……discuss!!), the Septic Tanks have had a few recently (though how hard is it to make 10 ‘Goose and tahnics..?) and most recently the bloody northerners had a pop. The result…..Fucking Mayhem!!

So it is said, if you practice you’re a dick, but as was shown a few time at the Barlife stage at the northern restaurant and bar show last week, if you don’t practice you look like a dick. In a nutshell the rules are simple, £50 in you have to make 10 cocktails and open a beer as fast as possible, to music, whilst looking cool.

Winner takes all, don’t kill anyone whilst you’re on (or before and after i’m told…PC gone mad) and have a blast. Any questions? No? Good.

The willing lined up with the press ganged in a parody of a cocktail comp, the crowd assembled baying for blood, or unbalanced and rushed daiquiris strained through your fingers in a chipped glass – it was free, it was that type of crowd. And the show was truly on the road. First up was the raining northern record holder….me! In fairness it was 3 years ago, and I was a lot slimmer back then but I reckoned how hard can it be, it’s just like a Saturday night, but I’m at least 24% less drunk, it is only 3pm, and no deliveries so far so steady hands to the ready.

I was categorically shit.

The plan in my head went out the window, and it was a shit plan to start with, so no hope surely. But wait….no, no I was rubbish.

This isn't a shit photo, it's Johnboy moving so fast he's a blur. Honest.

I exited stage left and handed over to people who can actually tend bar, but they hadn’t turned up, so  I was left with a rag-tag bunch of layabouts to whom the idea of garnish is to shit in their hands and scrape it onto the rim of their coupettes. Missed pours, complete loss of bodily functions, swearing and shaking, and that was just Andy Ives.

The bartenders it seemed could barely string a sentence together, let alone an 11 drink round. Then like an angel descended from heaven with all the customary halos and flattering lighting Danny Murphy from Aloha in Liverpool.

“Fuck me, Andy are you watching…I, I think this guy has actually practiced….Jesus.”

He was quick, he was accurate and he did it to Nat King Cole (it just worked ok). Then true to form it came to straws and garnish aaaaand he fucked it. It could have been the pressure, it could have been the event bar, either way my hopes were smashed to pieces as he just seemed unable to finish. Still best so far, and true to the form book at this show, the Scousers were running away with it.

Some say he exists purely on a diet of adrenaline and Vet strength Ketamine, some that he can hear someone else listening to techno at 6 miles, and run there in under a minute, all we know is he’s called jonboy. Up stepped the Welsh Dragon, ready to restore pride to this flagging comp. A measure of competition to Danny Murphy perhaps?  Daiquiris – Done, Caipirinha – Done, Pina Colada – Done, Planters Punch – done, Cuba libre – done, Mojito – done, Maitai – done, Mule – done, ZOMBIE – DONE, Christ….BEER – done!!!! BRAAP! Finished, he’s finished!!!

The crowd went wild, one woman started crying with all the glory she had just witnessed, Si Webster clean fell over and had to be revived with a medical punch to the face, children cheered, men wept women kissed the victorious soldiers as the tanks rolled through the streets… wait that might have been the Allied liberation of Nazi occupied Holland, anyway rapturous applause filled the Barlife theatre. It’s all over, jonboy won.

So, after that we took stock, the sectionable retards that had gone before Danny and Jonboy had cost us the following;

  • 6 boston glasses
  • 1 spoon(!?!!??)
  • 3 martinis
  • 4 bottles of rum
  • Half a case of beer
  • Our belief in God/Allah/Jah/Jesus Christ/Imhote
  • 3 stations of ice
  • The Sudetenland
  • A date with the Energy drink girls, or failing that some sweating.
  • A slot on Deal or No Deal
  • 2 fingers
  • Our innocence

Was it worth it, no. Will we do it again, Fuck yes.

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Tom Sneesby

Tom Sneesby has been behind the stick for coming on 8 years now. Based in Manchester his career has seen him open the georgeous group inspired Cloud 23 as Head Bartender, manage the opening of Rio Ferdinands opulent Rosso Restaurant (think Mathuselahs of DP '95!) and most recently was behind the Machester Phenomenon, The Blackdog Ballroom. He is most well known for running Socio Rehab for 2 years,the bastion of Mancunian Cocktail culture, owned by the inimitable Beau Myers. Tom now owns The Liquorists, a concept created with former Scottish National bartender of the year Jody Monteith. The Liquorists provide Unique training sessions, offering bespoke, imaginative training solutions for Bar operators or brands. Sauce sessions with a difference....

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