Last week saw the first of three heats for the Flor de Cana Grand 7 Florito competition take place at Keko Moku in Manchester.
This competition has been extremely popular with bartenders across the country not least due to the fact the winner of each heat will be on a plane to Nicaragua early next year to compete in the UK final. In fact it has proved so popular that we had to add in an extra pre-qualifier in Birmingham to find the best in the West Midlands to join the Manchester final.
Not only Birmingham and Manchester were represented however with Sheffield, Liverpool and Cardiff bartenders all fighting it out for the chance to make their drink at the home of Flor de Cana.
13 bartenders made it to Keko to try and impress the judging panel of Eduardo Gomez from Flor de Cana, Jody Monteith from Manchester’s very own drinks experts The Liquorists and BarLifeUK. As the Flor de Cana Daiquiris were handed out Eduardo explained the rules – 7 minutes to make two serves of the cocktail using a maximum of 7 ingredients with 1 winner – easy!
Competitions in Manchester always produce great drinks alongside great presentations and plenty of banter, once again we weren’t disappointed. The variety in the drinks was also a joy as a judge with Blazers, Flips and Swizzles all making an appearance. We were also treated to flames, truffles, bad puns and plenty of heckling from the cheap seats.
Before announcing the winner some special shout outs have to be given to Matt Jones who travelled up from Cardiff for his first ever comp and put on a great show.
Leon Dalloway from Socio Rehab also gets a special mention for changing Jody’s opinion of Blazers for a least a little while, producing the best Blazer the Liquorist had ever tried. Last up (never easy, just staying sober is hard enough) was Scouse and what an epic presentation he put on with coconut glasses, a Nicaraguan flag, plenty of foliage and a handmade Flor de Cana speaker…. genius.
However one competitor stood out for the judges and that was Amanjot Johl from Le Truc in Birmingham. His drink, serve and presentation were all fantastic and despite his disbelief in winning highly deserves his place at the UK final in Nicaragua.
Once the congratulations and shots were complete some of the more dangerous Manchester stalwarts appeared in the form of Lyndon Higginson, Tom Sneesby and Becky Davies. Upstairs was the opening of Beau Myers Christmas pop-up and there were big bowls of punch to be consumed. Against all the odds I still made the train home and survived another night in Manchester.
Thanks to all the competitors, Keko for being fantastic hosts as always and Flor de Cana for putting on such a great comp. Next week we’ll be bringing you all the news from the Edinburgh heat but to whet your whistle here is Amanjot’s winning drink.
Cana flip it?
40ml Flor de Cana
Bar spoon lime curd
Bar spoon condensed milk
1/2 cubic centimeter of crushed up extra strong mints
20ml egg white
10ml egg yolk
Pinch spice mix (consisting of clove, green & black cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg)
Served in a flippable spice jar with a Flor de Cana and fennel seed biscotti.