The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championship (UBC) took the final of this years UK competition to Tales of the Cocktail, there the winner was decided.
We have reported many times throughout this years competition on just how tough the UBC is, and just how mean Monkey Shoulder Ambassadors Dean Callan and Grant Neave are. However, even we were shocked, stunned and a little bit amazed that they were cruel enough to hold the final in the humid sweat box that is New Orleans.
In the heats the competitors were pitted against each other in a series of challenges designed to test their bartending prowess. At the final the stakes were raised to take in management skills as well. With the winners prize being a pop-up bar at this years London Cocktail Week those management skills will be well used.
New rounds included a gross profit round. rota challenges and of course the return of the, much feared, mega quiz. If that wasn’t enough there were also daily scavenger hunts (presumably for deodorant and water). All this whilst enjoying everything that New Orleans and Tales have to offer.
The finalists were:
Jonathan Arthur, Aberdeen
Dave White, Horsham
Nick Gordon, Aberdeen
Cameron Woodger, Aberdeen
Adam Binnersley, Manchester
By all accounts it was a closely fought affair, but in the end experience won the day as last years winner Dave White from the Dead Parrot in Horsham took out the title. Last year Dave was part of the winning team, but it seems he works equally as well on his own and now he gets to keep the prize all to himself.
In this case that means a potentially life changing chunk of money. The pop-up bar at LCW is only half the story of the prize. It is the fact that the winner gets to keep all the profits that really makes it very special. Last year Dave and his team walked away at the end of the week with £13,000 in their collective back pockets. With the experience of last year who knows how much Dave can amass.
He was, understandably, rather excited:
“I’m thrilled to be crowned the UK’s Ultimate Bartender for the second year in a row. Monkey Shoulder really stepped up the competition this year but the scavenger hunt around New Orleans was the real icing on the cake. The trophy will take pride of place in the bar whilst planning for London Cocktail Week gets underway!”
We are sure that the other finalists enjoyed their, richly deserved, all-expenses paid trip to Tales and whilst the loss of that much potential cash will no doubt smart for a while, they have still experienced a trip that many bartenders dream of taking.
We certainly look forward to seeing what Dave comes up with at London Cocktail Week and massive congratulations to him for winning one of the toughest competitions out there. We will leave the final words for Neave (he likes it that way):
“The Ultimate Bartender Championship is all about challenging the best bartenders in the UK bar scene. Dave did a great job across the new challenges and the scavenger hunt, proving he definitely has the skills to pay the bills. And what better place to celebrate his win than at the home of cocktails; the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans”.