After kicking the week off in Edinburgh the Reserve Brands World Class competition moved onto Manchester to find another winner for the UK Finals.
As we have come to expect from Manchester competitions the quality of the 5 competitors (unfortunately Massimo Zitti had to drop out at the last minute) was of the highest order:
Ben Williams – Sky Lounge, Leeds
Christian Tirel – Boiler Maker Nottingham
Dan Berger – Mr Coopers, Manchester
Matthew Soares – Cloud 23, Manchester
Alex Jones – Kosmonaut, Manchester
The day followed the same format as all the heats, with each competitor having to take part in 3 challenges. First up was their well-practiced signature drink which had got them into the heat, followed by a Mystery Box Round and finally Cocktails Against The Clock (6 classics in under 8 minutes).
The Mystery Box Round was a stand-out with all of the competitors opting for the really challenging ingredients – which included Ketchup, Branston Pickle, Mustard and Sweet Chilli Sauce – to surprisingly good effect. Ben managed to create a cocktail that tasted exactly like a Big Mac!
The guys really made sure it was a tough job for the three judges and the top two were very closely matched. However the Northern Winner and second person into this year’s UK Finals is Matthew Soares from Cloud 23 who excelled in all three challenges and whose 3 ingredient signature serve was packed full of flavour.
We will be bringing you a more in depth look at the heat next week but for now a big thanks to Adam and the team at Under New Management for hosting the competition (we’re looking forward to going back there for drinks soon). Congratulations to all the competitors for such a great level of drinks and chat.
Next up London and Brsitol will be holding their heats and we’ll be bringing you all the news over the next couple of days.
Winner – Matthew Soares, Cloud 23
50ml Ron Zacapa
20ml sherry syrup infused with Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
2.5ml yuzu syrup
Shake and fine strain over a carved ice block. Zest and garnish with orange peel.