Eric Tinca of London’s Satan’s Whiskers wins the inaugural Fentimans Summer of Rose cocktail competition.
Truth be told, and purely from a judge’s perspective, some cocktail competitions are more enjoyable than others. As much as I appreciate a stirred-down-and-brown bombshell, or a well-balanced-yet-challenging fire ant-infused Martini, tasting twenty such drinks on the bounce can be somewhat headache inducing (I realise this is a massive first world problem, but everyone is allowed a little moan every now and then).
With that said, the Fentimans Summer of Rose final was a joy to judge, and a really welcome change of pace in a number of ways. The first deviation from regular competition territory was the brief being wide open – submitted recipes had to contain 50ml of Fentimans Rose Lemonade, and be easily replicable, which is a nice, nonrestrictive theme that encouraged freedom of expression.
The second change from the norm was a non-alcoholic ingredient being the star of the show. When a comp is themed around a spirit, competitors lean towards strong, punchy cocktails that show off the base liquor’s flavours, and this generally produces a field of very boozy ‘bartender drinks’. The prize for winning this competition was a trip for two to Ibiza, including a stay at the Paradiso Art Hotel (which will add the winning cocktail to its menu – hence the replicability stipulation). The ‘poolside Ibiza drinking’ connection along with a non-alcoholic lead ingredient produced an eminently consumer-friendly and easily drinkable range of cocktails at the final. While the brief did not stipulate entries had to be low or no ABV, many of the Summer of Rose drinks fell into that camp, and all were somewhere on the cooler – spritz – fizz spectrum. So like I say, the Summer of Rose final, which took place on a fine sunny day last week in Disrepute, which is a lovely place to spend time, was a joy to judge.
Sitting alongside BarLifeUK on the judging panel were Disrepute’s head bartender and recently crowned World Class GB champ Cameron Attfield, and London Cocktail Week head honcho Hannah Sharman-Cox. Pleasingly we found the panel had scored the competitors almost identically, so the post-comp discussion was an easy one. While all of the drinks that had made it to the final were of a high class, the judges particularly loved the way Eric Tinca combined the flavours of coconut, rose, and Campari to create a cocktail that was perfectly balanced, and very drinkable – a proper, grown up ‘moderate ABV’ drink to enjoy on the beach. For his efforts, Eric will soon be jetting off to Ibiza to enjoy his cocktail as made by the staff of the Paradiso Art Hotel.
Congratulations also go to Holly Law who placed second in this, her first ever comp, and also to Alexandre Robin who came in third. And thanks must go to everyone who expended time and effort to enter the competition.
Summer of Rose was Fentimans first competition, and they nailed it. BarLifeUK has judged a number of competitions hosted by non-alcoholic brands over the years, and of them all, Summer of Rose produced by far the best drinks. This is undoubtedly because bartenders these days are more used to working with non-alcoholic ingredients, but also because the Rose Lemonade is a quality ingredient to begin with. On top of this, Fentimans arranged travel for out-of-town bartenders coming to the final, which doesn’t always happen and should be applauded, so if the Summer of Rose comp comes back in 2020, we heartily encourage you to get involved.
The Fentimans Summer of Rose 2019 Final Top Three
Winner: Eric Tinca, Satan’s Whiskers
2 Fresh raspberries
15ml Lemon juice
20ml Koko Kanu
Top with Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Second Place: Holly Law, Murder Inc.
50ml Dry Vermouth
20ml Nettle cordial
15ml Lemon juice
1 Dash orange bitters
50ml Fentimans Rose Lemonade
Third Place: Alexandre Robin, Sketch
25ml Tanqueray Ten
25ml 30&40 Double Jus
1 Dash Bittermans Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
150ml Fentimans Rose Lemomade