Appleton Estate Bartender Challenge Returns


One of the industry’s favourite competitions, the Appleton Estate Bartenders Challenge, is back with two places on a trip to Jamaica up for grabs.

BarLifeUK Competitions - Appleton Estate Bartenders Challenge ReturnsThe Appleton Estate Bartenders Challenge has always been considered one of the country’s toughest competitions to win, as it challenges many facets of the bartender’s skill set. The 2015 competition is no different with a variety of challenges both in the heats and final.

It is for this reason it has always been highly respected and previous winners have gone on to great things. The last winner in 2012 Richard Tring, for instance, went on to open the award winning Red Light Bar and Weber & Tring Off-Licence in Bristol.

Now the Bartender Challenge is back after a couple of years off,  and it’s your turn to get involved, further your career and bag yourself an amazing trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica.

The Challenge

The 2015 competition revolves around two key areas from Appleton and Jamaica.

The first is the basis of a new campaign from Appleton Estate, the joy of a great storyteller. Anyone who has been to Jamaica will tell you that give a local half a chance and you can sit back with a rum in your hand and be entertained for hours.

It is this ability, which is after all shared with great bartenders, that will be the focus for the presentation of your original drink.

Second up is the Mai Tai. As anyone who knows their tiki drinks history (and who doesn’t believe those ‘dirty stinkers’ who challenge the accepted origins) will know, Trader Vic invented the Mai Tai back in 1944 using Appleton Estate rum.

Over 70 years on it is still one of the most popular and most difficult to balance rum cocktails in the world. You will be challenged to show you can re-create it perfectly.

These two main challenges will be combined with others in the heats and even more in the final to really test your skills to the full. The heat challenges look like this:

  • Classic Cocktail Challenge – Do you know your classics and can you produce them on the spot?
  • Consumer Challenge – How do you handle the always ‘interesting’ consumer questions and requests?
  • Original Serve & Story – Make your Appleton Estate creation and entertain the judges with your story telling abilities.
  • Mai Tai Multiple Serve – 5 mins to make 4 Mai Tai’s and wow with your brand knowledge.

That is just the heats, we’ll keep the challenge at the finals under our hat for now but expect even more to come your way.

How It Works

To enter simply fill out the form below with your details and the specs for your original Appleton Estate cocktail. The basic criteria are (full list of t&c’s at end of article):

  • The cocktail must contain a minimum of 35ml of Appleton Estate Rum/Rums
  • The total amount of alcohol ingredients must total no more than 75ml
  • A maximum of 7 ingredients must be used (garnish not included)
  • Homemade ingredients are permitted but must be indicated in your specs (bear in mind the judges are looking for a replicable drink so don’t go crazy, only use them if 100% necessary)

Entries will be paper judged by an expert panel before the competitors are announced for the 4 heats taking place across the UK in September.

The top two from each heat will receive a Calabrese cocktail kit and an invite to the UK final in London on October 12th – 14th. On the first day of the final the top four will be picked to compete in a consumer challenge before the top two are picked to win a trip to Jamaica.

The Regional Heats

Regional heats will be held in the following cities:

  • London – 14th September
  • Glasgow – 16th September
  • Bristol – 21st September
  • Leeds – 22nd September
  • Grand Final – 12th October – 14th Oct.

Shut Up And Let Me Enter

If you really need more inspiration to enter have a look here at a trip we took a couple of years ago with 3 of the 2012 finalists.

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