Officers’ Reserve Gimlet Challenge Finalists Announced

BarLifeUK recently joined Fords Gin as they toured dozens of bars across London in their Officers’ Reserve Gimlet Challenge.

For those unfamiliar with Officers’ Reserve, it is a limited edition over-proof release from Fords Gin. It is the first in what we hope (having tasted Officers’ Reserve) will be a series of limited editions under the Journeys In Gin series.

Josh with his serve Offshore

Whilst the recipe is the same as Fords Gin the liquid is rested in Amontillado  Sherry barrels for 3 weeks before being blended with some unaged gin. It is bottled at a very pleasantly punchy 54.5% ABV and served up in a nautically themed bottle.

Fords Gin invited bartenders from across London to come up with a twist on one of their signature serves, and a BarLifeUK favourite, the Gimlet. Over a week long period the Fords Gin team and guest judges visited each of the participating bars to try their creations.

BarLifeUK joined one leg of the voyage with Fords Gin’s Admiral Dan Warner and Forgotten Hospitality’s Able Seaman Stuart Hudson to tour 8 bars and try a variety on Gimlet twists.

Our first Port of Call was Fare where we joined Dan for a couple of pizza’s for ballast whilst we waited for Stu. With the crew at full strength we tried Josh’s Offshore which contained a coconut & lime cordial as well as some Manzanilla sherry. It was a fantastic way to kick the tour off.

Aft-er that we headed to Homeboy where Colin gave us a lime, seaweed and saline twist entitled Fords Voyage. The salt theme continued at Cocktail Trading Co with Tony’s Officer Preserver adding bee pollen and black pepper to the lime and salt flavours.

From there we tacked back to see Will at Calooh Callay who’d taken a trip to the Orient with a jasmine tea and apple honey cordial. Over at Happiness Forgets Jack had stuck closer to home, actually very close to home, his Sharon’s Garden serve based on ingredients from his mum’s backyard herbs (a band name for the taking if anyone wants it).

It was already turning into a hull of a trip but it (and the shit puns) didn’t stop there.

We next docked at Victory Mansion where Stu Binks served up a very impressive looking and tasting serve with a kaffir lime and coconut sherbet joining lime juice and Fords Officers Reserve.

Stu Binks from Victory Mansion

Our final disembarking point came at Original Sin, unfortunately Tom had been lost at sea but the team did him proud serving up his delicious Admirals Fancy. Once the trips debrief was over the pool table called our intrepid sailors over for some R&R and our work was done.

From our fantastic adventures both Josh and Stu joined the crew that will be trying to mast-er the shakes for the opportunity to set sail (in one of those fancy flying ships) to a European capital city of their choice.

The full deck looks like this:

Tommy Long – Blind Pig
Paolo Scialpi – Connaught Bar
Josh Joyce – Fare
Zoe van der Grinten – FAM
Vince Smart – Hawksmoor 7 Dials
Louis Macpherhson – Lyaness
Luca Dipatrizi– Scarfes Bar
Stu Binks – Victory Mansion
Steve Georgiou – The Wigmore

The final will be taking place at Murder Inc at 1pm on 8thJuly so come on down and cheer them on, there’ll be some Gimlets knocking around as well I’m sure.

Good luck to all and I’m officially out of boat related puns….. BOOM