The Sauvelle Vodka competition will take the winners of four regional heats to Ibiza for a grand final, with a part time ambassador gig the ultimate prize.
BarLifeUK are always happy to judge competitions in Glasgow, because the drinks are invariably great, as is the hospitality and enthusiasm of the city’s bartenders.
The Sauvelle Vodka heat was no exception. We camped out at The Finnieston, which is a lovely place to spend an afternoon, not least because their Fish Finger Sandwiches are sublime. Seriously, next time you are in town, have one, and ponder the notion that the name ‘Fish Finger Sandwich’ seems far too mundane for such a wonderful morsel.
As always seems to be the case in Scottish heats, a lot of thought had gone into many of the competitor’s presentations, and the general attention to detail and levels of preparation were very high. There was a pleasing mix of quite complex serves, and simpler cocktails.
A special mention for an entry in the latter category must go to Rob Webb from Diablo’s in Narberth, whose combination of Sauvelle, Chambord and Elderflower was fantastic. Some nerves cost him a few presentation points, but his Spring Time Punch was one of the best drinks of the heat, and we look forward to seeing him in future competitions.
In the end, it was Kaiko Tulloch, of Lucky Liquor, who came out on top, scoring unanimously highest across all of the judging criteria. Her cocktail, Sauvelle Vague, was of the type that could get you into trouble, being so drinkable. And her presentation was flawless. As a result, Kaiko will be heading to Ibiza in September, for the yacht-serve final, held appropriately, on a yacht.
Shea Campbell of Orchid in Aberdeen came home in second place, with an intricate presentation that employed a story of which George R.R. Martin would be proud. He took at Magnum of Sauvelle home for his efforts.
And in third place, Julija Bernatovica, representing The Finnieston, took home a bottle of Sauvelle, and the thanks of everyone involved in the heat for looking after us so well on the day.
The Winning Drinks
Kaiko Tulloch – Sauvelle Vauge
- 50ml Sauvelle Vodka
- 25ml French Chenin Blanc
- 12.5ml Elderflower cordial
- Dash celery bitters
- Spritz absinthe
Spritz an elegant highball glass with absinthe, and place a long cylinder of clear block ice in it. Stir all other ingredients over cubed ice until well chilled, then single strain into the highball. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, sprayed with edible gold paint.
Shea Campbell – Dans la Nature (Into the Wild)
- 60ml Sauvelle Vodka
- 15ml Château des Sarrins Rosé
- 10ml Apricot Brandy
- 5ml Simple syrup (1:1)
- 2 Blackberries (1 for garnish)
- Slice of ginger (rim glass and garnish)
Place blackberry in mixing glass muddle lightly (so not to break the seeds), add Sauvelle Vodka, Château des Sarrins Rosé, Apricot Brandy and Simple Syrup, stir for 30-40 seconds double strain into cocktail glass, rim with fresh ginger slice and garnish with ginger and blackberry.
Julija Bernatovica – Keep Me Wild
- 50ml Sauvelle Vodka
- 20ml Dubonnet
- 10ml Mezcal
- 20ml Coconut blossom nectar
- 25ml Lemon juice
- One egg white
Dry/Wet shake/ Serve in coupe/ Garnish with black pepper