The sun was out to remind the Bristol finalists for the Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspirations just what they were competing for.
The prize they were slugging it out for was a plane ticket to Ibiza for the UK final later in the year. The chance to spend a few days under blue skies, next to warm oceans, infinity pools and copious amount of Gin Mare and tonics.
Alongside the sun we also provided G&T’s for all the finalists and supporters to get them in the Mediterranean mood.
As the competitors set out their equipment the three judges (BarLifeUK, Stu Ekins from CASK Liquid Marketing and Suzie Dowty from BarChick) settled at the bar in Red Light.
Each competitor would have to make two drinks for the judges within a 10 minute time limit. The first a twist on the traditional Red Snapper and the second their own cocktail inspired by the Mediterranean.
First up was Dan Felsing from The Woods in his first cocktail competition, as it turned out he was a natural. Dan is such a fan of gin he has a Gin Bell which he wears at work, if the bell rings it means Dan needs gin! His drinks included a Red Snapper twist designed for all those horseradish lovers out there (of which we are one).
Nicolas Stoffel from Cheltenham’s Crazy 8 bar also shone with his Red Snapper invention which contained a homemade spice mix he could bottle and sell. Bristol boy Isaac Windsor complemented his great drinks with a presentation full of Gin Mare knowledge.
The Red Light’s own James McGovern gave us one of the most original serves we’ve seen this year with his great session style Red Herring (featuring Rollmop brine) being served up in a couple of hollowed out peppers. His second cocktail had a great story revolving around the pain of returning from a holiday, it was aptly called Having A Mare.
Daniel Bovey was a regular on the competition scene a couple of years ago when working in Reading, since then he has moved down to Bristol to run the new Be At One and this saw his return to competitions. He didn’t look like he’d been away at all with a presentation full of product knowledge and his drinks linked together. His drinks were also superb with a salmon infused Red Snapper twist and a very well balanced original drink.
James Bowker had travelled down from The Edgbaston in Birmingham for the competition and had to wait until last to get his chance to present. His presentation was a very personal story which had all the judges entertained and was built around a very summery original drink and a paella inspired Red Snapper twist.
The quality was very good however it was James McGoven and Dan who had the judges arguing. In fact it was the closest and toughest heat of the year and a decision took a long time.
In the end it was Dan who edged it by the narrowest of margins and will be representing in Ibiza at the end of next month.
A big thanks to Red Light for looking after us so well. to everyone who came down to the competition and to the bars and bartenders of Bristol for a great night later that day.
There is just one chance left to get yourself on that plane to Ibiza with the deadline for the final heat in London being at midnight on Friday 18th July. Register for the comp here
Here are Dan’s winning drinks:
Fallen in Love With Salmon (Ever Fallen in love)
- 45ml Gin Mare flash infused with Salmon
- 20ml lemon juice
- 20ml thyme infused Lillet Blanc
- 15ml plum tomato sugar syrup 1:1
Shake and fine strain into coupe with sesame oil garnish and celery heart
- 45ml Gin Mare
- 25ml lemon juice
- 15ml Drambuie
- 15ml Campari
- 10ml egg white
Shake and fine strain into coupe and garnish with orange twist