Punch & Judy, Pirates, a Fun Fair, Tennis, a Tiger and Bill & Ted – it can only be The Great Brugal Rumble.
A couple of months ago Brugal contacted a few bartenders across the south of England and asked them to pick a team of five and create a punch inspired by their region. Even Nostradamus wouldn’t have got close to guessing what they would come up with.
The Southern final of The Great Brugal Rumble took place at Boutique Bar Show on the main competition stage and in front of a packed crowd 6 teams produced presentations that surpassed anything seen on a competition stage before.
Last year’s reigning champions Bristol were joined by Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton and two London teams. The rules were simple – produce a sharing punch inspired by your city/area and entertain the crowd.
The judging panel consisted of Stuart ‘Holiday’ Hudson who was also on compering duties, David Miles from Maxxium UK and BarLifeUK. It was one of the toughest competitions I have ever judged purely because I was laughing so much I kept forgetting I was supposed to be judging as well.
Team Bournemouth kicked off preceding’s with a Punch & Judy themed presentation with the whole team in full fancy dress including a policeman (who seemed to be enjoying the power his truncheon gave him far too much) and one of the scariest looking babies I have ever seen.
Their punch contained (amongst other things) Brugal, Campari, Ginger Wine, Passion Fruit, Ginger Beer and of course some salt to remind us of the seaside.
The drink was served in a massive bucket and stirred with a spade with sea scented dry ice spilling across the stage. After Bournemouth had got the crowd into the swing of things Team London mark one took the baton.
Their Fun Fair inspired presentation saw the drink being made and served from a Candy Floss machine.
Bottles of bubbles were thrown into the crowd and within seconds grown men and women reverted into 5 year olds blowing and popping bubbles to their hearts content – that is the beauty of a fun fair after all.
Their Donkey Punch II creation was served to the judges in a clear plastic bag containing a toy wind up fish which is, I am pretty sure, a first. It wasn’t only the judges who got to try this one, with samples being handed out to the crowd via a booze dispensing back pack.
Once the bubbles had dispersed Team Brighton joined the fight with a theme…. well if I’m honest I can’t really remember the theme, in fact I’m not sure I heard it as I was distracted by a man sized tiger complete with large…. how do I put this politely? Passion Fruits.
Once the shock had dissipated we were treated to fruit dipped in chocolate and oysters whilst the Georges Marvellous Medicine Punch was being concocted. The drink was served in a melted chocolate rimmed glass with aromatised dry ice and party poppers firing overhead.
Next up came the rock ‘n roll performance from Team Bath, the Bill & Ted themed presentation complete with Rufus, Socrates and Joan of Arc. The only heated punch in the competition contained a mix of Brugal, Honey Mead, Cognac, fruit and ginger.
Served hot in a mug with a side of fig the Ruined Skinfull Punch warmed the collective cockles of the judges hearts. From there we jumped straight into summer with the Wimbledon themed show from the second of the London teams.
Their punch contained the very Wimbledon ingredient of Pimms mixed with Brugal, apple juice, lime and orange and was shaken in ‘tennis balls’ before being poured into an Absinthe Fountain for service into coupette glasses. It was visually a great serve and came with a glass of foody goodness which was much needed after 5 punches.
Last up were the defending champions Bristol who took no time to show why they took out the title in 2011. Last year’s captain Sam Kershaw was no longer on the Good Ship Bristol and the assembled team quickly mocked his departure.
It was more of a show than presentation which had the crowd and judges in hysterics for 7 minutes solid. The team consisted of Sam’s slightly ‘slow’ son and Rich Tring as the most unattractive drag act I have ever had the misfortune of seeing, my eyes were hurting for days afterwards.
Unfortunately due to the fact I don’t want to go to prison I can’t repeat here a large chunk of the performance here but it was enough for them to take out the 1st prize for the second year running – full punch recipe below. The £500 prize was particularly useful for them as they had their car towed the night before and got a £250 fine!
Congratulations to Team Bristol and thank you to all the teams for keeping me so well entertained.
The Brugal based fun doesn’t end there though with the Scottish final taking place at the Glasgow Boutique Bar Show in October and the Northern final at the Manchester show next year.
- Captain: Matt Fairhurst, Milk Thistle
- David Gerrans, The Colour Inn
- Mike Sharpe, Milk Thistle
- Ross Painter, Milk Thistle
- Rich Tring, Milk Thistle.
The Cursed Punch
Per individual serving:
- 40ml Brugal Anejo
- 20ml lemon
- 20ml ginger syrup
- 10ml Amaro
- 20ml CoCo Lopez
Serve on ice as a punch.