Sandinista’s Becky Davies Wins Manchester Gin Mare Heat

Sandinista’s finest makes her competition debut with a gin win

Becky Davies on her way to winning the comp

BarLifeUK love judging competitions in Manchester (but not necessarily the way we feel the morning after), because the standard is always first rate.

The Gin Mare Manchester heat, held last week at the Boutique Bar Show, was no exception, and gave us the opportunity to taste some of the best competition drinks we’ve sipped in a while.

Tasked with creating a Dirty Martini twist and an original, Mediterranean-inspired cocktail, the winner of the heat would secure a seat on the plane to Ibiza later in the year.

The Gin Mare villa in Ibiza will host the UK final in order to select one bartender who will go on to represent the UK in the World final held there later in the week.

Susie Wong

Judged by BarLifeUK, CASK Liquid Marketing (UK distributor of Gin Mare) big cheese, Stuart Ekins, and renowned cocktail historian and author, Anistatia Miller, the Manchester heat set the bar very high for the coming UK qualifiers in Leeds, London and Edinburgh.

Aside from the drinks, we were very impressed by the standard of presentation.

None of the competitors were fazed by the noisy conditions of the exhibition competition stage, and everyone had clearly done a lot of homework on the brand.

Charlene Holt

Props go to Manchester’s bartenders who clearly know how to approach a competition… There are  a few Southern ‘tenders who could learn a thing or two from their Northern colleagues in this arena.

The score sheets showed that the judges unanimously scored Becky highest, although we have to say the difference between first place and third was very small.

So we offer huge congratulations to Sandinista’s Becky Davies for a well-deserved first place on her cocktail competition debut.

Honorable mentions also go to Susie Wong who came in second, and Charlene Holt who placed third. It is great to see the region’s top-notch female bartenders leading the way in competitions.

If you would like to enter one of the coming Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspirations heats, click here.

The Drinks

Becky Davies

Original Drink – Salt of the Sea

  • 50ml Gin Mare
  • 12.5ml Velvet Falernum
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 12.5ml Gomme
  • Absinthe sugar drip
  • Egg white
  • Lemon zest
  • Spiced salt

Combine. Dry shake then wet shake. Serve in a martini glass

Dirty Martini Twist – Rose Mare

  • 60ml Gin Mare
  • 20ml Campari
  • 10ml Crème d’Apricot
  • Cracked pepper

Susie Wong

Original Drink – Calypso Goddess

  • 40ml Gin Mare
  • 20ml Ginger Wine
  • 10ml Cointreau
  • 35ml Orange Juice
  • 35ml Sunraysia Carrot Juice

Dirty Martini Twist – Inari

  • 50ml Gin Mare
  • 20ml Sawanotsuru Sake
  • 10ml Dry vermouth
  • 15ml Olive brine

Charlene Holt

Original Drink – Sea of Tranquility

  • 50ml Gin Mare
  • 6-8 Basil leaves
  • 1 Stick celery
  • 15ml Gomme
  • 15ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 40ml Eager pressed apple juice
  • Dash celery bitters
  • Thai fish sauce

Muddle celery with celery bitters, lime and secret ingredient, tear basil leaves and gently bruise, add Gin Mare, gomme and apple juice, shake and strain into chilled vintage glassware and garnish with celery ribbons.

Dirty Martini Twist – Rado Rose

  • 60ml Gin Mare
  • 20ml Noilly Prat
  • 1 Dash celery bitters
  • 1 Sprig of rosemary
  • 1 Spoon olive brine

Stir all ingredients together, fine strain into a chilled Martini glass, lemon zest (discard) and garnish with rosemary infused olives.