Northern Restaurant and Bar culminated on Tuesday 13th April with the Beefeater 24 sponsored ‘Best of the Best Northern Bartender Competition’.
Designed to test knowledge of the classics and creative flair, each of the six competitors were required to deliver an Aviation (60 marks) and a bespoke cocktail featuring Beefeater 24 (40 marks). As usual, explaining the history and origins of the classic, and the thinking behind the original creation, were as important to the judges as taste and balance.
The Aviation produced some differing approaches to ratio, and the usual discussion on the use of Crème de Violette, but each of the competitors got through the classic round intact, with a surprising absence of competition tremors.
Several of the bespoke drinks featured tea, in one case frozen into ice balls, reflecting Beefeater 24’s use of Chinese and Japanese teas as botanicals, and Beefeater founder, James Burrough father’s vocation as a tea merchant.
In the end, it was Tim Barnes from Harvey Nicholls who scooped first place and an all expenses paid trip for two to London with a drink called ‘4 and 20 Peach Teas’. Congratulation to Tim for a putting on a fine performance, despite an epic amount of heckling from his ‘friends’ in the audience.