The World Class roadshow rolled into Bristol last week, taking up residence in the city’s newest bar, Red Light.
The final heat in burst one of the competition, Bristol followed rounds in Edinburgh, Manchester and London, and like these heats, would award a place in the UK final to the winner.
BarLifeUK have been pretty vocal in appreciation of Bristol’s cocktail credentials, and so we were looking forward to the judging session. Happily, the standard was superb, with some out-of-towners from Bath and Bournemouth completing the World Class South West Ranks.
- Ont Pakvipas – Central bar, Bath
- Joel Whitman – The Library, Bournemouth
- Nathan Johnson – Hotel Du Vin, Bristol
- Johnnie Brissendon – Eau De Vie, Bournemouth
- Tom Poppel – Sub 13, Bath
- Isabella Newman – Circo Bar, Bath
- James Fowler – the Larder House, Bournemouth
As with the other heats, competitors were tasked with navigating three rounds – presenting their bespoke World Class Cocktail, a mystery box challenge, and finally a speed round.
The bespoke drinks were all very good, and at the end of this round, the scores were pretty close. However, the mystery box and speed rounds separated the field somewhat.
At this stage, we have to give a special mention to Nathan Johnson for making the judges choke on their drinks with the remark: “Well, you have to go into this kimono open, don’t you?” upon choosing to use the tomato ketchup found lurking in his mystery box.
Once the score sheets were tallied, there was a standout winner. James Fowler turned in one of the most confident and compsed performances we have seen for quite some time, and all three of his drinks were excellent. James find himself in the World Class UK final for the second year running.
The judges all agreed that Isabella Newman deserved an honorable mention for her performance too. She confirmed what we have suspected for a while – Bath will be our next cocktail safari destination.
The winning drink
James Fowler – The Larder House, Bournemouth
- 2 dash Butterfly Absinthe
- 20ml Pacharan
- 20ml Lepanto OV
- 40ml Ketel One Vodka
Stir down, serve in pre-chilled glass.
Garnish – Jamon Serrano slices and burned clementine wedges, drizzled with clementine-infused arbequina oil.