The Edinburgh heat of Wild Turkey was always going to be a toughly-fought affair, and the competitors really showed what Scotland can do.
This was the last of six regionals throughout the UK and everyone taking part knew what was expected. There was only one guaranteed place in the London final from the Edinburgh heat.
Three of the final nine will be heading to Kentucky to see the Wild Turkey distillery and meet master distiller Jimmy Russell and if this isn’t enough there will be a stop in Manhattan first, for an NYC night out. Pretty good odds for a somewhat incredible prize!
The day had a great mix of classic style, molecular skills, brand knowledge and excellent banter.
In our all-male round, the boys took inspiration from different places – a confectioner in Kentucky inspired Tonic’s Ryan whilst Dale from Italian Grill in Dundee looked to his favourite movie – Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Matt from G&V Hotel looked to the southern style of hospitality and Michael from Guy’s made a drink version of a banana split.
We had twists on classics such as Boulevardier, Milk Punch and Julep ,and as you can imagine with such a caliber of bartender, many homemade ingredients were used. Edible garnishes seemed to be the order of the day in Edinburgh.
We had turkey jerky, KFC-style mushrooms, vanilla custard, pecan pie, blackberries soaked in Wild Turkey as well as peaches soaked in the tasty bourbon as well. It’s a good thing we didn’t eat lunch before the competition began!
Of course being in Scotland our old friend Irn Bru turned up – we have to give a little shout out to Cam from Tonic who showed us the joy of Scotland’s favourite soft drink working with Campari so well. Who knew? Also Cam’s ability to get a round of applause – a slow one, but still – whilst stirring a drink had everyone giggling. ‘Why should only shaking get a clap?’ Good question.
Second place went to Ryan Sneddon of Tonic in Edinburgh who is in with a chance to be one of 3 wildcards who will also get to the London final so we’ll keep our fingers and toes crossed as his drink and banter were pretty strong.
The overall winner was Jamie Moran from Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn in Glasgow.
The mix of his simple 3-ingredient drink served in smoked glassware (done in a frying pan in front of the judges) along side his incredibly popular garnish proved a crowd pleaser.
Doing only his 2nd competition in Edinburgh, Jamie’s knowledge of Wild Turkey was on point and we wish him all the best in the UK final.
Jamie Moran’s winning drink:
45ml Wild Turkey 101
35ml Blackberry, rosemary & Cinzano extra dry syrup
1 Dash Peychaud’s bitters
Stir & serve in oak and maple smoked glassware – straight up. Garnish with Cajun crumbed mushrooms.