The finalists of the Meister Hunter 2002 competition have been announced and in two weeks one of them will be virtually crowned.
We must admit, this is very exciting news for BarLifeUK. We actually get to judge a cocktail competition again. We get to drink, listen, learn and enjoy bartenders doing what they do for the first time in ages.
Okay it won’t be quite the same. For starters there is no need for trousers, they’ll be no freeloaders necking complimentary drinks in the background supporters cheering on their friends, no drawing flying cocks on fellow judges score sheets, no panicking we won’t be finished before the bar has to open for evening service. But thanks to wonderful folk at Jäger at will be more familiar than we anticipated.
Before we explain how they are managing that, let’s introduce you to the finalists:
Benji Davies of Little Mercies (London)
Tatjana Sendzimir of Fam Bar (London)
Matthew Ball of Papillon (Liverpool)
Ryan Snedden of Tigerlily (Edinburgh)
Tomislav Pandza of Fumo (Birmingham)
Cai Anderson formerly of Brick House Social (Manchester)
Stevie Kane of Baccarat Bar in Harrods (London)
Hannah Lockett of Petit Café Du Coin (Liverpool)
Bianca Hajanal of 200 Degrees (Nottingham)
Andrew Meltzer of Happiness Forgets (London)
They were picked thanks to their delicious sounding cocktail and quality video skills through Jägermeister’s Instagram page. They will be competing for £5,000 worth of prizes (£1.5K has already been handed out to 15 entries through spot prizes, check them out on the Meister Hunter Instagram page) on June 18th.
How can you do a cocktail comp during lockdown you ugly idiots?
Thanks for asking (although the ugly was frankly uncalled for), it turns out that the Jäger team have it covered. Each of these 10 finalists will be receiving a set of boxes, bottles, bubble wrap, £40 and Jägermeister in its three forms – traditional, Manifest and Cold Brew Coffee. They will be tasked with creating their cocktail and a home delivery experience for each of the judges and sending them out.
On the 18th June the judges, consisting of BarLifeUK, Marian Beke of The Gibson, last year’s winner Ellie Reaside, Simon Difford and Mr Jägermeister himself Florian Beuren, will open these boxes and get tasting.
We will all be Zooming together, I’m already worried about which of my best frocks to wear, with each competitor coming into the ‘room’ to present their cocktail to us. As they create the drink for us we will be opening their box and doing our best to chill, dilute and garnish their serve perfectly.
Sure, it isn’t exactly the same, but the Jägermeister team have done a grand job in making it as close as possible to the real deal and we will be doing our bit by having a pallet cleansing lager to hand and needing the toilet half way through competitor sixes presentation. We are genuinely excited to be back doing what we love and one of these ten will walk away with the £3,000 first prize (second and third getting £1.5K and £500 respectively).
Whilst you won’t be able to watch the final live Jäger will be producing a video which we will of course share. Over to you Florian:
“Meister Hunter took a different approach this year and developed a digital competition to support bartenders during these uncertain times. This was important to us as we wanted to support the trade whilst out of work and give them an outlet to flex their skills.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response and the creativity and expertise showcased by those who entered. Narrowing it down to 10 finalists has been challenging, but we are really looking forward to seeing what happens on the day of the final and welcoming another member to the Jägermeister family.”