Team Newcastle Win Glasgow Great Brugal Rumble

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Geordies bag £500 cash prize and North of the Border bragging rights

Team Newcastle

The Great Brugal Rumble is rapidly becoming a proper, old school rum cocktail competition.

It has steadfastly refused the current trend of trying to make rum ‘grow up’, and is all about knocking out a great punch whilst making the audience laugh.

The Northern heat took place at the Boutique Bar Show in Glasgow, and saw teams of five bartenders from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Newcastle and Edinburgh take turns on the competition stage in an effort to win a cash prize of £500.

As we saw in the Southern heats, creativity and general mayhem were the order of the day, with all four teams really getting stuck in and putting on a great show for the watching crowd.

Team Aberdeen’s performance, while spirited, went on to illustrate the perils of using Parisian shakers during a cocktail competition.

Their routine was based on a boxing match, with a fighter and trainer in each corner, making one half of the punch. These two different drinks were to be combined in a giant shaker which would then be presented to the judges.

As their performance progressed, each of the three Parisian shakers froze shut, and no amount of twisting, whacking or sweating could get them open. Reading this, you may be thinking ‘amateurs’, but everyone on stage, including the judges, had a crack at getting the lids off, and no-one managed all three.

So, a word to the wise: If you are competing on an event bar, with no running hot water and limited time, think carefully before using a Parisan.

Team Newcastle had no such dramas, their performance was polished, obviously rehearsed and very funny.

The judging sheets gave marks for ‘local influence’, so the Geordies hammed up a ‘Why aye man’ routine that included issuing each of the judges with personalised, Geordie Drinking License and the kind of lazy regional stereotyping that we have come to know and love in cocktail competitions.

Their drink, The Coal House Punch, was very tasty, and clearly the best on the day. Congratulations then to John Collingwood, Gavin Wraith, Ben Craighead, Kieran Hall and Johny Hume – we will be disappointed if you didn’t spend the £500 on warm Stella during the train ride home.

The winning drink:

Coal House Punch

  • 45ml Brugal Anejo
  • 25ml Red Kite Syrup (see below)
  • 15ml Lime juice
  • 70ml Fentimans Curiosity Cola
  • 2 Dashes Boker Bitters
  • 1 Medium orange zest
  • 2cm Cubed of fresh ginger

Method

Zest & then drop the orange into the base of a Boston Glass. Add in the ginger, bitters & muddle.

Add in the Brugal, Red Kite Syrup & lime juice, top with cubed ice & shake vigorously.

Fine strain into glass which has been filled with Fentimans Curiosity Cola ice cubes, then top with Fentimans Curiosity Cola.

Garnish with cinnamon stick, ginger slice & orange zest (discard).

Red Kite Syrup

  • 500ml Wylam Red Kite or any good Scotch beer
  • 300g Soft brown sugar

Empty Red Kite into a pan and whisk for 2 mins to release CO2.

Place pan onto a medium heat and gradually add in the soft brown sugar, while continually whisking until it is all dissolved

When mixture boils, turn down heat to a simmer and stir for a further 10 minutes, skimming off any excess foam.

Leave to cool and then double strain back into beer bottle


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Editor

Andy Ives has over 10 years hospitality publishing to his name and has written for trade magazines such as CLASS and Theme. Most recently he worked as editor of Industry magazine (the Australian version of Theme), bars editor of Australian Bartender magazine, and launched (with Simon) www.4bars.com.au, which is now Australia’s leading bar industry website.

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