Sandinista’s finest makes her competition debut with a gin win
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.
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.
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.
Combine. Dry shake then wet shake. Serve in a martini glass
Dirty Martini Twist – Rose Mare
60ml Gin Mare
10ml Crème d’Apricot
Original Drink – Calypso Goddess
40ml Gin Mare
20ml Ginger Wine
35ml Orange Juice
35ml Sunraysia Carrot Juice
Dirty Martini Twist – Inari
50ml Gin Mare
20ml Sawanotsuru Sake
10ml Dry vermouth
15ml Olive brine
Original Drink – Sea of Tranquility
50ml Gin Mare
6-8 Basil leaves
1 Stick celery
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.