The third heat of this year’s Meister Hunter competition saw the judging gang make their way to Brighton.
It has been a couple of years since BarLifeUK has been to Brighton and with the sun glistening off the sea we vowed to not let it be so long again, and just a candy floss toss from the pier was our home for the evening The Plotting Parlour. When we arrived the bar was already filling up with competitors and supporters who were enjoying Jagermeister cocktails courtesy of the lovely Georgia behind the stick.
As with the other heats the rules for the competitors were simple, make two serves of their entered cocktail and free pour a 25ml shot of Jägermeister within 5 minutes whilst entertaining the crowd and judging panel. Speaking of which, joining BarLifeUK on the panel once again were the wonderful pairing of Jägermeister’s UK Brand Ambassador and boss of Meister Hunter Florian ‘Flo’ Beuren, and the Head of Global Marketing Nina Eggeling.
We were ready to go so it was time to hand over to the compere for the show and local legend Sam Sidgwick to introduce the first competitor looking to win a spot at the final in London in November.
First to impress was Sam Moseley of The Golden Pineapple in Brighton who spoke about the link between his love of metal music and Jägermeister. As he told stories of shots before his first Slayer gig he put together his tiki inspired serve South of Heaven. It was a fantastically cocktail with the spice levels absolutely spot on to kick the competition off in style.
Bohemia’s Joe Barnes focused on a sweet digestive style serve with salted caramel, passion fruit and cinnamon at its heart. The resulting drink was really well balanced and not as sweet as it appeared on paper, all enhanced by the shortbread rim.
It was memories of Brighton institution Audio and a Jägermeister takeover that inspired Harry Roper from MAK. In particular it was a ‘cheesecake shot’ consisting of Jägermeister and lemon curd from that night to which he added Aluna, coconut milk and his patented ‘fix all syrup’ to create a more grown up version of the forgotten shot.
Making drinks for everyone in the bar wasn’t enough for The Plotting Parlour’s Georgia Maria Dias, she was going to show her skills in the competition as well. She spoke of memories of being 15 and raiding her parents booze cabinet but if was anything like my parents there would have been nothing in there as tasty as her homemade rosemary, lavender and fennel sugar syrup. This was combined with Jägermeister, Balvenie Caribbean Cask and chocolate bitters for a drink that looked and tasted superb.
The last to make a splash was Jack Walker from Manuka Bar with an Old Fashioned style of drink designed for Curt Mast to drink after his hunts. The star of the show was his homemade spiced apple syrup which worked particularly well with the Jägermeister.
Only one would be going to the final in London where they will competing against bartenders across the UK, Ireland and Canada for the chance to win £3K. From Brighton the one is Sam, who combined the skills of great chat and great drink making better than anyone else.
Thanks to Georgia and the rest of The Plotting Parlour team for looking after us so well, the competitors and supporters plus of course Sam for his hosting skills. The wonderful Jägermeister team will be up in Glasgow next for the final UK heat and BarLifeUK will be there to keep an eye on them and bring you all the news.