Stefanie Anderson of Bon Vivant, Edinburgh, named 2018 Talisker Race to Skye Champion
Talisker’s race to Skye competition returned for a second year in 2018, with bartenders from around the UK invited to create a cocktail that reflected the brand’s ‘made by the sea’ campaign.
A series of semi-final heats reduced the field to seven finalists, who went on to compete in the grand final, which took place in August on Skye.
The Race to Skye final consisted of three elements – a ‘mystery challenge’ that tested the bartenders’ ability to blind taste and identify six unmarked whisky samples; a cocktail and food pairing challenge; and finally a whisky knowledge test, hosted by brand ambassador Colin Dunn, followed by presentation of a signature ‘made by the sea’ cocktail.
The finalists taking place were: Elysa McGuire – Death & Taxes, Leeds; Alex Francis – Devil’s Darling, London; Mike Pendergast – East London Liquor Company, London; Adam Day – Peggy’s, Manchester; Liam Grogan – Kelvingrove Café, Glasgow; Stefanie Anderson – Bon Vivant, Edinburgh; Miran Chauhan – Buck & Birch, Edinburgh.
Stefanie Anderson said of her victory: “I’m delighted to have won the Race to Skye. I admire the brand in so many ways so I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of the experience and on top of it, won! The competition was tough and everybody presented amazing serves and real originality behind their stories. This is just an amazing way to round off the trip and I’m thrilled to return and carry the Talisker torch.”
Scottish Malts Ambassador at Diageo Reserve, Stevie Martin added: “…We had exceptional drinks and memorable stories from all seven finalists as well as an incredible few days travelling the Scottish wilderness. Our winner, Stefanie Anderson from the Bon Vivant in Edinburgh, performed incredibly well across all four challenges and we are looking forward to working with her on Talisker single malt whisky moving forward.”