The third seat on the plane to Ibiza was decided recently at the Manchester heat of the Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspiration Competition.
As always when the Gin Mare competition is in town the sun was shining and the judges of BarLifeUK, Stuart Ekins from CASK Liquid Marketing and Jennie ‘The Devourer’ Rae from BarChick were ready for a bunch of drinks.
The competitors were already gathered in our home for the day, Under New Management, by the time we arrived and the bar was filled with the smell of fresh herbs, as garnishes were being prepped on mass.
With Brodie Meah knocking out the Gin Mare & tonics everyone was soon ready for action. They would each have to make us two cocktails, the first a twist on the Red Snapper and the second a drink inspired by the Mediterranean, within an 8 minute time limit.
Kyle Basnett from Gusto kicked off proceedings and immediately set the bar high for the others to follow with two cracking drinks and a great presentation.
Adam Day was next up and boy did he make an Ibiza themed entrance. With the Vengaboys ‘We’re Going To Ibiza’ blaring out of the speakers he appeared behind the bar in a suitably awful Ibiza beach outfit complete with ridiculous sunglasses which Jennie quickly grabbed.
He also shared a great tip on the technique of throwing a drink ‘No-one knows the science of throwing, however I’m going to go up and down not side to side as I think it works better.’
Danny ’The Cello Maker’ Bigg-wither continued the musical theme claiming that Belinda Carlisle sums up the motto of Gin Mare perfectly with ‘Heaven Is a Place on Earth’ playing. He also won the garnish of the day award for the suitably over-the-top Red Snapper number.
If Danny got garnish of the day then Keiran Grieves had the drink presentation of the day serving his two cocktails (a Negroni twist and Red Snapper designed to make you sweat out your hangover) served on a beach complete with bucket and spade.
Lulu Fedi had travelled down from Scotland to compete and her presentation revolving around her Italian Grandma was fantastic and matched by a superb tasting and served drink, inspired by those memories.
However, as ever, there had to be a winner to represent the North in Ibiza for the UK Final. On this occasion it was Kyle who proved that the dreaded number one position can be converted into a win.
His two drinks were absolutely superb and, despite the pressures of starting off the day, his presentation was full of brand knowledge and still highly entertaining.
With just the Bristol and Second London heats to come the opportunities to get involved in this superb comp and bagging yourself a trip to Ibiza are running out, if you want to get involved then click here
A big thanks to Brodie Meah and his team at Under New Management for looking after us so well and everyone who came along for giving us such a great day. A special thanks to Danny for picking up the herbs for the day after BarLifeUK left them in the fridge at home!
Kyle Basnett’s winning drinks:
Mediterranean Inspiration Cocktail
Potum in caelum, terra et mare
- 60ml Gin Mare
- 3 muddled olives
- 15ml Chase Seville Orange Vodka
- 8ml olive and saffron reduction
- 8ml balsamic vinegar
Muddle olives and shake all other ingredients with cubed ice. Fine strain into rocks glass with cubed ice, garnish with olive and basil wrap.
Red Snapper Twist
- 50ml Gin Mare
- 4 halved cherry tomatoes
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Dash tabasco worcester sauce
- Dash celery bitters
- 10ml lime juice
- 6 basil leaves
- Top tonic water
Muddle first 5 ingredients in a Collins glass, add crushed ice 2/3 full. Add Gin Mare and basil, churn vigorously. Top crushed ice and Tonic Water. Garnish Cherry Tomato