We sat down with the previous winner Samuel Boulton to get some tips and ideas for anyone looking to enter the Gabriel Boudier Wizard Competition.
The Gabriel Boudier Wizard Competition is a competition with a difference. You are tasked with coming up with new liqueur flavour to join the Boudier range. The winning idea will be added to the range in April 2018 and will bag the winner £1,000.
All the details can be found at the main story here but we thought there was no-one better to give us some tips than the man who triumphed last time out.
BarLifeUK: Why did you decide to enter the competition? Samuel Boulton: It was purely for the fun of it, I never expected anything from it, let alone win!
BLUK: Had you ever made your own liqueurs, tinctures, bitters etc before hand? SB: Yes, I’d experimented with a lot of homemade ingredients, I was consistently making coffee liqueur for the bar I was managing at the time. However the process between that and how I made Kaffir Lime Leaf was very different.
BLUK: Did that previous experience help or hinder your experimentation? SB: It defiantly helped me, although my experience was mainly in homemade coffee liqueur, it really helped when it came to areas such as filtering the final product.
BLUK: Talk us through the thought process you had when choosing to make a Kaffir Lime Leaf liqueur? SB: The idea came from a friend who introduced me to the flavour, I choose Kaffir Lime Leaf because of the issues I’d had trying to use them in bars. I found myself frequenting oriental supermarkets to get ingredient, fresh were unfindable, dried lost there flavour and frozen went bad quickly.
BLUK: Did you consider/play with any other flavours? SB: Nope
BLUK: A lot of bartenders will be put off because they don’t have fancy equipment in their bar, but neither did you. Want techniques did you use or have since learnt you could have used? SB: I had no fancy equipment at all and had to get creative because of that. I found that heat needed to be added to get the flavour from the leaf. Ideally I’d have liked to have vacuum sealed them in alcohol and cooked them in a water bath. Instead, as I had neither a chamber vac or sous vide cooker, I simmered the leaf in a pan of water and kept concentrating it until it was strong enough to add to the alcohol, after all 80% of my liqueur was water.
BLUK: Describe the feeling when you first got a bottle of your own liqueur in your hands? SB: Pure glee, I’d seen a lot of photos before the bottle arrived but nothing could compare to the real thing.
BLUK: What’s the best cocktail you have tried with your liqueur (yours or someone else’s)? SB: My favourite is a Tommie Margarita with Tequila and Kaffir Lime Leaf but closely followed by the Non-Such Punch at The Punch Rooms by Davide Segat, Citric Acid, Gabriel Boudier Kaffir Lime Leaf Liqueur, Belvedere Vodka, Lillet Blanc, Basil Water!
BLUK: What’s been the best experience winning the competition has given you? SB: There has been a lot of great things from it, I got to tour the country showing off the liqueur, but my highlight was hosting a talk about the liqueur to the owners of the distillery and guiding them though a tasting whilst showing off drinks we’d created with it.
BLUK: Any tips for those entering this year? SB: Yes, go for it! Find a flavour that is truly missing from the market and make it a reality ! Don’t be scared to enter something out there!