After an epic road trip, the Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championship has picked its UK Top 5 who head to Tales of the Cocktail next week to do battle once again.
15 heats took place in 14 cities, during which hundreds of bartenders battled it out over 7 rounds designed to test every aspect of the modern bartender. An online leaderboard kept everyone up-to-date on who was topping the table. After all was said and done, the top five scoring UK bartenders were sent plane tickets to New Orleans.
If it sounds like a hell of an undertaking that’s because it was. BarLifeUK popped along to a few of the heats (have a read about them here) and the level of concentration and tension in the air was palpable. We will hand over to the UK Brand Am-bad-assador Grant Neave to sum it up:
“Touring the UK in the Monkey Shoulder transit van, hosting 15 heats in 14 cities over 28 days sounded like a great idea when planning this year’s UBC, it turned out to be an EPIC idea! Having the opportunity to visit so many bars, meet new bartenders and catch up with friends made for a brilliant month on the road.
We made a few changes to this year’s heats and the competitors really embraced the new set up, it was great to hear from competitors and spectators alike how relevant UBC is to bartending and that whilst it was a competition it was an opportunity to learn whilst having a great time.
Aberdeen seems to be the city to watch based on our scoring system but I guess we’ll need to wait until after Tales of the Cocktail to see who this year’s UBC Champion is and what they have planned for London Cocktail Week.”
Yes you read that right it was Aberdeen that bossed this years competition with three of the top five coming from that heat. BarLifeUK has long been singing the praises of the Aberdeen bartending scene, and it is great to see them represented so well and blowing a well earned raspberry to some of the more celebrated cocktail cities.
So the top five heading to Tales of the Cocktail next week (in a very particular order) are:
- Jonathan Arthur, Aberdeen
- Dave White, Brighton
- Nick Gordon, Aberdeen
- Chelsie Bailey, Bristol
- Cameron Woodger, Aberdeen
Taking It Easy At Tales
They wish. We have been privy to some of the challenges that await these five when they arrive in New Orleans and if you thought the London heats were tricky… well fasten your seat-belts.
Unsurprisingly seeing as they have come from the crazy (and it turns out slightly sadistic) minds of Neave & Global Ambassador Dean Callan, the challenges are both fun and testing. Now of course we aren’t going to go into any details, that would take the fun away right?
As if a trip to Tales was not prize enough they are fighting it out for something even more awesome. Their very own pop-up bar at this year’s London Cocktail Week, funded by Monkey Shoulder, where they get to keep all the profits.
Prizes don’t get much bigger than this and it really is a life changing amount of money they will be competing for so don’t expect any slacking.
If you are over at Tales and see any of these five please give them a hug, they’ll probably need it.
We will of course be bringing you the result as soon as we hear along with more details on what they got up to.