Two months ago Diageo launched an innovative competition for bartenders to design a new spirit to join their Reserve Brands portfolio, 4 finalists have been announced and 19 others are vying for the final place.
Whilst we haven’t been privy to the number of entries Diageo received from bartenders across Europe we have no doubt it was enough to make the first round of judging a herculean task. From all of those entries 4 have been chosen to progress to the next round, a boot camp.
The boot camp will consist of 4 days developing their products at Diageo’s Global Technical Innovation Centre before facing the judges at a live final on 24th May. Those 4 are:
Atalay Aktas, Schwarze Traube, Germany
His product, PomBelle, is a rose-tinted liqueur macerated with fresh, sharp pink grapefruit. Smooth and honey-like, this citrusy spirit is perfect for summer cocktails.
Dee Davies, Hyde & Co, Bristol, UK
The first of two UK representatives, Dee pitched Jin. Jin is a Japanese Gin, an earthy and spicy spirit, distilled from Sake, with subtle notes of ginger and a balanced citrus undertone from lemongrass.
Naomi Mason, Yum Yum Ninja, Brighton, UK
The other UK flag flyer is Naomi whose Ripley Forge is designed to give a new edge to the whisky category. This is an English whisky blended with vanilla and the juice of blackberries. Smokey, peaty notes sit in perfect harmony with the sweet juiciness of the blackberries and the smooth creaminess of the vanilla notes.
Fjalar Goud, Mystique Bar, Netherlands
Fjalar’s creation is Cooper, a spiced version of a six-year old Dutch Jenever (spirit made with malt-wine, neutral spirit and juniper berries). He infuses the spirit with tonca beans for a warm marzipan taste, followed by Madagascan vanilla and hibiscus. This yields a mellow, aromatic flavour profile – pricked with complex floral notes and a light bitterness.
A huge congratulations to those 4, but that is only half the story. You see there is a 5th spot up for grabs. A 5th spot with 19 bartenders vying for it. A 5th spot that Diageo are inviting you to have a hand in deciding.
The Show Your Spirit website is asking for your votes, the most votes gets through. We encourage you to get voting, we encourage you not to vote based on who you know but to vote on the product on offer. You see whichever of the 5 finalists wins has their product made, therefore you get to have it in your bar, therefore you want something you can use, something that excites you. Have a look and get involved:
Alex Kratena – Infinity – Distilled from the finest grain, this spirit is rich, floral and aromatic.
Andreas Stern-Peltz – Repeal Spirits: Original Peach Brandy – A peach brandy made from peaches that have been distilled and aged.
Arnd Henning Heiaen – Umeshu Tanuki – Shochu based plum liquor with sweetness coming from honey and stevia.
Boudy Ghostine – Qawha Lungo – A dark, sweet, aromatic rum coffee liqueur.
Charlotte Halsius – Basil Liqueur – Basil infused liqueur
David Gerrans – Turner’s Herbal – Reminiscent of a cottage garden, this spirit is nuanced with wild flowers, fruits, herbs and honey.
Dennis Zoppi – Camellia – A new spirit made from a distillate of tea leaves with the potential to use different varieties of tea.
George Yiannakis – Pikroma – A vodka based bitter spirit infused with 43 different ingredients.
Heinz Kaiser – Roque Choque – A luxury chocolate liqueur with orange notes and a hint of Roquefort Blue Cheese.
Humberto Marques – Boutonniere Gin Liqueur – A fruit and herbal liqueur based on gin, which pairs the aromas of Aromacot and lemon verbena.
Jan Martensson – Fever Grass – A bitter-sweet vodka/liqueur hybrid with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Matthew Soares – MJ – Rum infused with botanicals and distilled like a gin.
Miguel Angel Jimenez Armas – Guatemalan Cream NS23 – Premium chocolate flavoured rum.
Monica Berg – Velvetier – Botanical Spirit with aroma inspired from enchanting world of perfumes.
Pal Skar – Figure – A Middle Eastern inspired liqueur with the taste of figs and strength of a brandy or cognac.
Samuel Kingue Ebelle – Hibiscus Liqueur – A liqueur with rich, fruity and floral flavours and hints of spices.
Tobias Blazquez-Garcia – ‘Decocta’ Golden Vermouth – A vintage golden vermouth made with fine wine and blended with spices.
Tom Zyankali – Absinthe Belle Alliance – Absinthe with a contemporary herbal twist.
Victor Delpierre – Coffee Show – High quality, nuanced coffee spirit.
There is more information on each of the hopefully 19’s creations at http://www.showyourspiritcompetition.com/ and this is also where you can get your vote on.