Nc’nean Creations Returns With Root To Fruit Theme – Entries Open Now

Nc’nean Creations Entry Deadline: 30th April, 2024

We’ve been saying Nc’nean Creations is one of the best comps on the circuit for some time, and the fact it grows in scope each year would seem to bear this out.

In 2023, Creations’ second year, Nc’nean added two extra UK heats to accommodate the rising number of bartenders wishing to compete, and this year European bartenders will join the action, with two heats being added to the tour, in France and Germany.

Root To Fruit

2023 winner Matt Morrison (R) with Matt Hastings

Creations also has a new theme for 2024, with Nc’nean encouraging bartenders to create a cocktail that embraces the concept of ‘Root To Fruit’. This idea is a sustainable version of the rather more carnivorous ‘Nose To Tail’ practice applied to meat in the restaurant world.

To that end, the brief for Nc’nean Creations is pretty simple this year: create a cocktail using either Nc’nean Botanical Spirit or Nc’nean Organic Single Malt Scotch Whisky, AND one other ‘hero’ ingredient, every part of which should be used – hence Root To Fruit.

As Nc’nean blender, Matthew Hastings puts it: “For this year’s competition, we would like bartenders to create a signature serve utilising one of our spirits, and one other “hero ingredient” where every part is used to its full potential. For example, if your hero ingredient is an orange, you could make use of the juice, flesh, pith, peel, stem, leaf, wood, and roots as elements in your ingredients, preparation, garnish, and, or, service vessel.”

The Final and The Prize

Creations will follow the tried-and-tested format of regional heats, leading to a grand final which will take place this September in Glasgow, and Nc’nean’s beautiful Highland distillery. To enter, submit your cocktail specs before April 30th, after which a paper-judging process will produce the list of bartenders who will compete at the seven regional heats in the UK and Europe.

The top two bartenders from each heat will progress to the final for three days of competition, camaraderie, and stunning views (read our report of the 2022 final here – suffice it to say, the final is a wonderful experience).

The ultimate winner will be named Nc’nean Creations 2024 champion, and will:

  • Work with Nc’nean to select and release their next Aon single cask bottling.
  • Have their name on the release
  • Receive 1 case (6 bottles) of the release
  • Receive 10% of the profits from the sale of the cask.

Things You Need To Know

  • The Nc’nean Creations 2024 entry deadline is April 30th
  • Your drink should have a maximum of 5 total ingredients, excluding garnish
  • Entries will be scored on adherence to the brief, unique approach, and sustainability
  • Nc’nean is a Bcorp distillery, meaning sustainability and environmental stewardship sit at the core of the brand