Old Bar Superstar Takedown looks set to be the biggest event of the year, and get London Cocktail Week started with a squeal of feedback.
Pernod Ricard’s BEAT team have been some of the busiest people in the industry this year, with their Magnificent Seven tour taking them to cities the length and breadth of the UK as they provide training and education to the country’s bartenders.
This push to support the UK trade comes to a crescendo during London Cocktail Week (LCW), where they will ‘blow the bloody doors off’ LCW’s first day with Old Bar Superstar Takedown, followed by a full day of training talks, hosted by some serious heavyweights, on Thursday 8th.
For readers unfamiliar with Old Bar Superstar, it has, up until now, been a periodic event that sees old bars which had their heyday in the nineties and noughties brought back for one night only, so that the industry’s young-uns (and wistful old-uns) can ‘see how it all started’.
However, in what is now becoming something of a tradition, Old Bar Superstar put on a huge event on the first night of cocktail week, which pits a team of fresh (ish) young things against some of the industry’s notorious old lags. Last year’s bash was epic, seeing as it did both an Old Bar victory, and the birth of industry band White Dog.
This year, the BEAT team have, to employ a horrendous cliche, turned the dials up to 11, with Old Bar Superstar Takedown.
Taking place at York Hall, one of England’s biggest and most historic boxing venues, the two teams will square up in the ring and trade cocktail-punches in front of a huge audience. The teams are as impressive as the venue, with the likes of the Reynolds brothers (winners of just about everything in recent years) on the youth team.
Age and experience will be calling upon Chris Edwardes, Charles Vexenat, Dre Masso and John Gakuru, who fly in from glamorous retirement villages around the world, to ‘represent’, as a young person might say.
BEAT team manager (and White Dog vocalist), Matt Pomeroy on the subject:
“Old Bar Superstar Takedown is a London Cocktail Week exclusive. We thought it would be fun to pitch different bartending eras together in a shake-off. The new, highly trained, highly researched and strongly-dressed youth against the old, drunk Woo Woo Bridgade from the eighties and nineties – an era the new stars never saw, and old stars can’t remember. Who’s best? Only one way to find out – Takedown!
The teams have one hour each on the bar, making classics drinks and mixing it up with their own music, style and banter (and creaking bones) and all they have to do is win the crowd over.”
As you would imagine, the Takedown will be accompanied by an abundance of great drinks and awesome food. Once the Old Boys have shuffled out of the ring, the night’s musical entertainment will get underway.
Blueshound Hugh Jones is up first. Followed by the mighty, and in no way underrehearsed, White Dog, who will melt the crowd’s faces before jumping on a plane, in true Rock Star fashion, for a follow up gig the next day at the Berlin Bar Convent.