G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program Finalists Announced

15 Bartenders head to Cognac for the week-long G’Vine final

The G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program has announced which 15 finalists from around the world who will be competing in June to be crowned the 2011 champion and we are delighted to announce two bartenders from the UK will be contesting the crown.

Following the UK preliminary event held at Nightjar last month (full details here) Jill Saunders from Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel and Terry Cashman from The Hoxton Pony will be winging their way to France on June 13th for a week of challenges in Cognac.

The judging panel will consist of Philip Duff, Gaz Regan, Audrey Fort and G’Vine master distiller Jean Sebastien Robicquet. The week will see one of the most intense competitions going with rounds including a speed drink-making test, a pouring test, a gin written test and the G’Vine Summer Ball. The Ball will see each competitor running their own one-man (or indeed woman – with three ladies in the final 15) bar at Cognacs largest annual party with representatives from the French spirits industry voting with tokens on the night.

The prize after all this effort is certainly worth it with the kudos being backed up with $3,000, a platinum vine-flower pin, an intercontinental bar tour for two and a year’s supply of G’Vine for their bar.

Philip Duff, who has been giving a series of talks at all of the preliminaries, was blown away by the response and quality ‘2011 has amazed us. More entrants, from more bars, in more countries, all dedicated to becoming the world’s finest gin bartender, in what’s been called the world’s toughest bartender contest.’

Audrey Fort of G’Vine Gin helped to explain just what a result it was to get into the final 15 ‘We organised 8 preliminaries in 5 countries over a month and had the chance to be hosted in a great variety of amazing bars from Nightjar in London, Pfaff’s at Vault in New York, to the oldest tiki bar still operating in the world, the Waldorf in Vancouver.

We’ve been very impressed by the level of the competitors and by their passion for gin, creativity and commitment.’

Congratulations to all the finalists, and of course, particular best wishes for Jill and Terry.

  • Jill Saunders (Beaufort Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London, UK)
  • Terry Cashman (The Hoxton Pony, London, UK)
  • Torsten Spuhn (Modern Masters, Erfurt, Germany)
  • Rene Soffner (Roomers Bar, Frankfurt, Germany)
  • David Gonzalez (Shikku Izakaya, Madrid, Spain)
  • Gegham Ghazaryan (Xandom, Alicante, Spain)
  • David Wolowidnyk (West, Vancouver, Canada)
  • Rob Montgomery (Miller Tavern, Toronto, Canada)
  • Michael Pazdon (Solbar, California, USA)
  • Jeff Bell (PDT, NY, USA)
  • Guillaume Ferroni (Chateau Cressauds, Aubagne, France)
  • Monica Berg (Ice Bar, Oslo, Norway)
  • Glaser Ladislav (Zapa Bar, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Siegel Solomon (Veneto, Victoria British Colombia, Canada)
  • Javier Ruiz Vera (Cocteleria Lubbock, Barcelona, Spain)