Alex Proudfoot from Raoul’s in Oxford has Swizzled himself onto a plane to Guyana with El Dorado Rum.
After a series of heats across the UK (read all about them here) El Dorado held the final of their exceptionally popular Swizzle Competition recently at Trailer Happiness in West London.
11 nervous and excited bartenders descended on the Tiki Bar haven to battle it out for the top prize of an epic trip to the home of El Dorado, Guyana. Anyone who has been to one of the award winning Stef Holt’s talks on El Dorado will know just how beautiful Guyana is and just what a once in a lifetime trip it will be.
Needless to say the nerves were rattling but a quick round of 12 year old and some beers soon helped to steady them (drunk responsibly of course).
Being the final the competitors not only had to re-create their Swizzle from the heats but also produce an original El Dorado cocktail using any of the range. In another twist came in the judging with an at-bar panel consisting of Stef, BarLifeUK and the one and only Lyndon Higginson of Liars Club in Manchester, as well as Emily from Love Drinks and Louise from BarChick blind judging round the corner.
We were all treated to 22 exceptional cocktails. Usually with such a big field there are a couple of drinks that don’t quite hit the mark however I can honestly say that I would have happily paid for every single one of the 22 cocktails I was served and, just as importantly, happily sat and chatted to all of the bartenders as they were made (although I probably wouldn’t take Lyndon with me).
On top of great drinks we were treated to hilarious banter, flames (it is a rum comp in Trailer after all), butterfly garnishes, a quick waltz, a phone call from Lyndon’s mum and of course a shot or two.
As the rum punch and shots started to flow the atmosphere in Trailer began to feel like a Friday night with people coming from all over to support their friends and colleagues behind the bar, adding even more to the pressure of competing. Despite the typical bartender banter, here was a fantastic level of support and encouragement between the competitors (and from the Trailer boys) which is just how a comp should be.
Then came the time for the judges to start adding up and arguing, to say it was little tough is like saying Ian Burrell is a little fond of rum.
There could only be one winner though and the person taking out that honour was Alex Proudfoot of Raoul’s in Oxford. His big serve second drink (using a whole bottle of 3 year old and 1/3rd bottle of 15 year old) was brave in the extreme but was one of the drinks of the day.
A special shout out has to go to Tom Higham who took out 2nd place (and a bottle of 25 year old) for a superb performance which pushed Alex right to the very end.
BarLifeUK would like to thank all of the bartenders, their supporters, the Trailer crew and El Dorado Rums and Love Drinks for a superb day and we’ll be bringing you all the news from the trip to Guyana later in the year.
Alex Proudfoot – Raoul’s, Oxford
- 60ml El Dorado 8 y/o
- 25ml red grapefruit juice
- 25ml pineapple shrub
- 25ml Innis and Gunn – Rum Cask Finish
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
Swizzle and serve with mint garnish.
East Bank Swank
- 750ml El Dorado 3 y/o
- 225ml El Dorado 15 y/o
- 500ml lime, vanilla and grapefruit sherbet
Served in a jug, lemonade style. Big grapefruit twist to garnish.
Tom Higham – Socio Rehab, Manchester
- 55ml El Dorado 5 y/o
- 5ml Maraschino
- 15ml earl grey tea syrup
- 40ml orange juice
- 20ml pink grapefruit juice
- 5ml blood orange syrup
- 5ml lime juice
- 1 dash Peychauds Bitters
- 20ml egg white
The Lost Drop
- 60ml El Dorado 3 y/o
- 15ml lime juice
- 12.5ml water
- 20ml coconut water
- 10 drops orange flower water
- 5 drops peach bitters
- 12.5ml sugar syrup
- 20ml egg white
Garnish with lemon zest and petals