El Dorado Swizzle Competition Finalists Announced

June saw the 5 heats of the El Dorado Swizzle Competition taking place across the UK, BarLifeUK brings you the news and winning drinks from each heat.

Stef on judging duty with Brodie’s Swizzle Pen

After sifting through the masses of entries received to come up with a shortlist for each heat the award winning Stefanie Holt, International Brand Ambassador for El Dorado Rum, hit the road with Reading as the first stop.

South and South West heat – Sahara Bar, Reading
Stef was joined on the judging panel by Davide Venturino and Tim Fitz-Gibbon who saw a heat containing great knowledge and banter as well as real support between the competing bartenders. The quality was so good the Top 3 couldn’t be split and all made it through to the final.

Dan Bovey, Sahara Bar, Reading – One Swizzle
– 45ml El Dorado 8
– 22.5ml lime Juice
– 15ml passion fruit sugar syrup
– 15ml Actimel original (as in that yogurt drink thing fit people drink)
– 2 dashes Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters
Garnish with grated lime and lemon zest

Alex Proudfoot, Raoul’s, Oxford – Trigger Switch
– 60ml El Dorado 8
– 25ml red grapefruit juice
– 25ml Innis & Rum (rum finish) beer
– 25ml Pineapple Shrub
– 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Ruairdh Muir, Raoul’s, Oxford – Tonka’s Swizzle
– 60ml El Dorado 8
– 12.5ml Tonka Syrup
– 25ml grapefruit juice
– 25ml coconut water
– 50ml pineapple juice
– 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

London Central and West heat – LCC Shaftesbury Avenue
The first of the London heats saw Swanand bring three bar backs and a load of Savoy silverware with him to help him make the final along with Ivan from Powder Keg Diplomacy and his excellent homemade ginger beer. A special shout-out to Fraser from LCC for helping out everyone throughout the day.

Swanand Kogaonkar, American Bar at The Savoy (now at Simpsons-in-the-Strand) – The Golden One

Swanand with his understated presentation

– 60ml El Dorado 12
– 25ml Dows Ruby Port
– 15ml sugar syrup
– 25ml lime juice
– 15ml cold hibiscus tea
– 2 dashes Absinthe
Garnished with an hibiscus flower with gold petals

Ivan Szabo, Powder Keg Diplomacy – Nine Iron
50ml El Dorado 8
– 8 triangles of pineapple (soaked in Auchentoschan)
– 25ml lime juice
– 12.5ml 2:1 brown sugar syrup
– 2 dashes pear and lemongrass bitters
– 30ml homemade ginger beer (or Fiery ginger beer)
Garnish with Ginger flower and slice of smoked pineapple

London North and East heat – Wax Jambu, Islington
The second of the London heats was a corker with some great banter helped no end by the generous laybacks from Wax Jambu owner Jimi Pearce. The two winners managed to stay sober enough to knock out fabulous drinks.

David Hamilton-Boyd, Organic Spirit – Worth Its Wait
– 50ml El Dorado 5
– 12.5ml ginger syrup
– 12.5ml lemon juice
– Dash Sasparella Bitters
– 50ml pineapple juice

Jamie Passmore, Hawksmoor, Spitalfields – The Leather Lounge Swizzle

Jamie gets his flame on

– 50ml El Dorado 8
– 10ml Bitter Truth Golden Falernum Spiced Rum Liqueur
– 25ml lime juice
– 15ml rhubarb and vanilla syrup
– 30ml pear puree
Garnish with a long orange peel rosette and string of redcurrants. Spray tobacco bitters from an atomiser through flame over drink.

Northern Heat – Liar’s Club, Manchester
Unsurprisingly the North pulled out all the stops with a new technique – the dry swizzle!, a crossword and swizzle pen and one swizzle being made with a modified drill. When I tell you that Lyndon Higginson was one of the judges you won’t be surprised to hear a few laybacks appeared here too. It was the closest heat of them all with three of the competitors being asked to remake their drinks so a decision could be made.

James J Wall, Liar’s Club Manchester – Pink Diamond Swizzle
– 50ml El Dorado 3
– 25ml lime juice
– 10ml sugar syrup
– 10ml Coco Lopez
– 12.5ml Crème de Peche
– 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge plus a nutmeg and cinnamon dust.

Tom Higham, Yacht Club (now at Socio Rehab) – Sanguine Swizzle

Tom certainly enjoy’s his swizzling

– 50ml El Dorado 5
– 7.5ml Maraschino
– 40ml pink grapefruit juice
– 20ml earl grey tea reduction
– 20ml blood orange juice
– 15ml egg white
– Dash Peychauds Bitters
Garnish with blood orange, cherry and mint.

Midlands Heat – Island Bar, Birmingham
The final heat saw the Midlands best battling it out with Anthony Trueman jumping onto the judging panel. Despite a lot of the competitors featuring in their first competition the brand knowledge was the best of the tour combined with plenty of fire. One of the heat winners had come up from London after being stuck on a delayed plane so missing his original heat – that’s dedication for you.

Edd Fish, Island Bar, Birmingham

Edd and his Tiki serve Swizzle

– 75ml El Dorado 5
– 12.5ml lime juice
– 50ml pineapple juice
– 12.5ml orange juice
– 3 dashes grapefruit bitters
– 3 cardamom seeds
– 3 whole pimentos
– 1/3 vanilla pod

Pietro Rizzo, Wax Jambu, London – Diamond’s Dirty Stop Out
– 37.5ml El Dorado 8
– 12.5ml Grand Marnier
– 7ml La Penca Mezcal
– 3 dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
– 12.5ml coconut water
– 12.5ml pineapple juice
– 10ml sugar cane syrup
– 12.5ml lime juice
Garnish with mint and pineapple leaves. Serve with a flaming bowl of Caribbean rum-tobacco blend.

The final will be taking place in August, keep an eye on BarLifeUK for the details.