Live Update From Gin Mare Global Final

Over the next few hours we’ll be bringing you live updates from the Gin Mare Global Final which includes the UK’s own Dan Warren from the Strait & Narrow in Lincoln.

We are here in Ibiza in the sun next to an infinity pool just for you. Just to bring you the news as it happens from the Gin Mare Global Final. I know we’re good to you right?

We have 6 competitors from across the global hailing from the UK (of course), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Brazil with Brazil up first. The judges are numerous in their number but include Gin Mare’s big man Jorge and the UK’s very own dream team of Stu Bale and Gareth Evans.

The format goes like this. They have to make 2 drinks each in the first round, their take on a G&T and their own Mare Nostrum creation (a drink designed to represent the Mediterranean (using Gin Mare of course). This will then be followed by another round which will see them preparing a drink matched to a dish given to them by 2 Michelin starred chef Ramon Freixa.

The winner gets 4,500 of those Euros everyone raves about and a years worth of travel around the globe sharing the love of Gin Mare.

We’ll be kicking off soon so excuse me whilst I grab a G&T and put on some suntan lotion…. back soon:

A quick intro from Gin Mare’s main man JC. He mentioned us, we’ve always liked him….

Here we go, he’s travelled a long way, welcome Heitor Marin from Brazil. His G&T, The White Sea, serve has a nice healthy slug of Gin Mare, it also has tonic which is handy, ohhh hello he’s put a shell on top of the glass and filled with a bit more Gin Mare plus saffron. You pour that into the glass and drink it all up.

Mare Nostrum time, it’s called something we can’t spell (that might happen a lot our Spanish isn’t great). However we can give you the ingredients… fig syrup is heading in which represents Minorca (this drink is all about the islands), grapefruit juice representing Formentura (okay our spelling might be truly awful today sorry about that). There is Gin Mare of course in with that lot.

This guy has a great tattoo peeking out from his shirt, we’ll bring you more news on what the hell it is but it has something to do with big hands praying. He’s getting the crowd involved and the drink looks great. Well done number one.

Hey up we’re off again Nunu Figueredo from Portugal is up. His drink is called 19:00 at The Gin Mare Villa. We have crust action with orange and spices (nutmeg, ginger and salt) going on the edge of the glass, this drink is supposed to look like a sunset at the Gin Mare Villa, we’ve seen a few of them and it’s a big call to get that look out of a drink. So we have Gin Mare, a rosemary, black and pink peppercorn infusion is next followed by a big lug of tonic. He didn’t have it on the bar but moved like a cheetah through the crowd to grab it, I don’t think Gaz even noticed he had left the bar.

Update goes like this, looked lovely but not entirely sunsety however the drink especially drunk through the crusta would be a treat whilst the sun was setting.

Mare Nostrum time for Portugal, he’s kicking off with 60ml of Gin Mare, we’re beginning to like him, some rosso vermouth, more fig in the form of a jam type thing, lemon juice and a smoked lime, rosemary and fig cordial. There is definitely a fig feel to this years competition, please PM any fig puns to my Facebook, the winner gets a bottle of Gin Mare… Served to look like a bottle of wine with tapas, very nice indeed.

Here we go it’s UK time. Dan Warren is behind the bar, he kicks off wishing various people a happy birthday before getting into his G&T serve, this is a man who loves his G&T’s. We judged this in the UK final and it’s a corker. Gin Mare is mixed with his own homemade Mediterranean tonic reduction (it has lot’s of Mediterranean love in it). Mixing it with the 1724 tonic poured down the spoon in the Spanish way, it retains the bubbles apparently, don’t you hate it when there isn’t enough bubbles in your drink? A drops of olive oil on top and a marinated mango garnish…. yep mango, just trust us it works.

A strong first round for Dan, a little over time but they were told beforehand that isn’t a big deal…

Dan is kicking off his Mare Nostrum drink with a ‘pale opener’ using damsons from his mum’s garden (always mention your mum when presenting to Spanish judges….). The drink is a Martini twist so with Gin Mare comes some sherry. Ohhh a Jorge slam down, good work. The twist comes in a Cacao liqueur add some crystal bitters and an apple tincture and he is stirring. What is the appropriate noise for stirring if shaking gets claps?

It’s time for Da German. The lovely (and funny) Torsten is up on stage and is getting some violet in his drink to disguise it against the beautiful blue sea behind him (hate me yet?). Tonic, Gin Mare and a lemon twist complete the drink inspired by lovely ladies…. mmmmm lovely ladies. Tastes very lemony when it comes round, didn’t want to pass that one on.

His next drink is called Orange Ocean. Starting by muddling some peppers, Gin Mare, lemon juice, homemade vanilla simple syrup and he’s done. Liking the simplicity of this guy. Ohhh no he broke a glass in transit I hope it wasn’t his grandmothers. Vanilla salt rim and garnished with a ice cream stick (I hope he washed them after he sucked them dry) and a padrone pepper. This guy is funny and a strong contender I reckon…. damn him.

It’s getting pretty warm here in the sun, Stu Bale must be in all sorts of trouble the poor wee Scot.

We’re waiting for the next competitor so an update on the judges outfits to pass the time. Stu is wearing a short shirt sleeved number with a bird pattern straight out of a Laura Ashley catalogue, sure to be getting many ‘tit’ based jokes from Gaz. Mr Evans himself is wearing the traditional ‘brit abroad looking smart’ stripped shirt number…

You’ll be please to hear the next person is up.

Welcome up the home town favourite Spain’s Manel Vehi. He’s gone crazy and put plancton in his drink along with the Gin Mare, lemon peel and sea fennel. I happen to be a fan of plancton in drinks (the wankiest line I’ve ever written?) but what about the judges?

On a side note I think it’s amazing that all these other countries present in English. Imagine if at a global final the UK entrant had to speak in Spanish? It would be hilarious but a disaster. Bonus points for everyone who presents in a foreign language.

Oh and his drink tasted a bit like the sea….

We get coconut in this drink. Not very mediterranean but seeing as he lives here we’ll let him off. So it’s coconut cream, carrot juice, lime juice and Ras el Hanout…. did we forget something? Oh yeah that Gin Mare needs to be added. The drinks gone in a fancy pouring vessel with some raspberry powder crusted glasses. Very ohhh la la (or whatever the Spanish version is).

Sorry folks a massive internet fart here means you haven’t been getting anything from me and it also means it deleted everything I had written. Needless to say it was hilarious and informative.

You missed Italy in the form of Mirko. He was funny, forgetful and skilled, the perfect bartender? His two drinks look great and had carrot juice and coconut in one of them and a Sangria twist. Apologies for the brevity but i’m trying t keep up over here.

There was a break, we drank beer and ate crisps. Now it’s round two. This is the one with the food match by the Michelin starred guy Ramon. Side note on Ramon he is dressed in full chef white jacket and blue shorts. You have to be confident to pull that off and he’s nailed it, I reckon Gaz is already chatting to Jason Atherton about a fashion change.

So first up went our friend from Brazil (no update on the tattoo I was too busy kicking the shit out of the wifi router to ask). He has a posh fish soup to match things with and does so with things with pineapple juice infusion and white wine.

Mr Portugal is up and having a chat with people during the break he seems to be the one battling Dan as the peoples favourite (who knows what the judges are thinking). He has the classic pesto and tackles it with peach, suze and apparently Old Spice but we’re guessing that was lost in translation…

Here we go Mr Warren is here with a drink to match a Gazpacho. This is not the gazpacho you have seen before, he’s gone all michelin star with it, part icicle, part washing line, part granny flat (one of those isn’t true).

This is gonna be tough for Dan but let’s see what he gets up to. Salted syrup, citric acid, tomato vine, white wine, crystal bitters and Gin Mare. Hello tiger, great looking serve in a wine glass, simple, classic done. It comes with olive oil and dehydrated G&T powder as a garnish. Clever boy. It’s gonna be close folks.

We haven’t tried any of the drinks yet I’m afraid and chef man seems to enjoy them all and they aren’t coming our way. So we have no idea what’s going on as far as scoring goes.

Sorry for the delay in keeping you updated the sheer number of excited people watching the competition resulted in the Wifi going into meltdown.

We can now however announce that the winner was Spain’s Manel Vehi. Dan came in a very respectable 3rd. We’ll bring you all the details in a more complete write up soon.