The second London heat of this years Wild Turkey competition took place at Loves Company to pick another finalist with a chance to win a trip to Kentucky and Manhattan.
It takes a lot to drag BarLifeUK away from the first day of the Ashes but the chance to drink Wild Turkey cocktails made by some of London’s best bartenders was too good to turn down. So with an anti-Australia t-shirt, a fully charged phone and the Cricinfo app downloaded we were ready for action.
Each bartender had to create a cocktail using at least 35ml of either Wild Turkey 81 or 101 and keep the judging panel, of BarLifeUK, Sam Burke of Gruppo Campari and Wild Turkey Brand Ambassador Martin Taylor, entertained.
Alastair Fraser from NOLA took an usual (but very welcome considering BarLifeUK’s advancing years) angle when coming up with his concept with a science based presentation (lab coat and all) based around improving memory. Alongside the berries in the drink, it was served in a red glass and even had a iPod with classical music as a garnish.
Victoria Proctor from Chiltern Firehouse also had a novel approach to her presentation, this time when talking about the Wild Turkey 101, which she did brilliantly using actual consumer reviews from the Master of Malt website.
We also had Loves Company’s very own Mike as a late entrant serenade us with a song he had written at 2am that morning. Music was a recurring theme with Claudio Poggi from LAB basing his highly entertaining presentation on jazz and in particular Charlie Parker.
Lucy from NOLA focused on the close knit community in Lawrenceburg and the London bar scene and Lorenzo from Heddon St Kitchen offered the judges a taste of his plums. However despite the fantastic bribe he still didn’t come out on top.
That honour went to Robin Honhold from White Lyan who has been missing off the competition scene for a while, concentrating on making drinks with no ice or citrus. In true White Lyan style he wasn’t afraid to give himself some stick claiming ‘this is the first time I’ve used a jigger in about a year and a half’ and ‘Ice….. it feels so alien to my cold hands’.
Alongside his great chat came a superb drink featuring his current favourite ingredient sumac, in the form of a sumac and breakfast tea syrup. This was used alongside the Wild Turkey 101 to create a julep style drink that disappeared pretty quickly when it got into the crowds hands.
Congratulations to Robin and thanks to all the competitors for keeping us entertained and ensuring we didn’t miss the cricket…. too much. Did we mention we won the first test? Easily!
Robin will be competing in the final and with just the Edinburgh heat to go we are closer to finding out which three will be jetting off to the Wild Turkey Distillery.
Robin Honhold – White Lyan
40ml Wild Turkey 101
Few mint leaves
15ml English apple juice
30ml homemade sumac & breakfast tea syrup
Made in Julep style over crushed ice with a mint and corn husk garnish.