The Ultimate Hepple Martini Competition is back for 2022 and boy have they knocked the prize out of the park.
Last year our first post Covid trip was to Athens for their Bar Show (read about our trip here) and in our opinion it is now the greatest European bar show. A trip to visit the Athens Bar Show is an awesome comp prize, but for Hepple it is just the taster, as once there you will get to have a guest shift with non-other than industry legend Nick Strangeway at one of the city’s leading bars. This is a true money can’t buy prize.
Forgive us, we got a bit excited about the prize there, let’s get back to the beginning, Hepple and their competition.
Hepple Gin combines the beauty of the English countryside and its abundance of botanicals, expertly handled cutting edge distilling technology and passion from some of the industries most influential names. As a result you won’t be surprised to hear it is delicious.
On a recent trip to the Hepple Distillery in Northumberland BarLifeUK was lucky enough to meet three of those responsible for the gin and through them we quickly realised that Hepple is a special product. Walter Riddell, owner of the Hepple estate and endlessly passionate and knowledgeable about it; Valentine Warner, chef and food writer with a drive for foraging and local ingredients; Chris Garden, distilling genius and previous Head Distiller of Sipsmith.
The final of the competition will be held at the Hepple Distillery and whilst Northumberland may not sound as glamorous as the West Indies we can tell you the Hepple estate is as beautiful as anywhere we have been. With Valentine on hand the food is as good as it gets, you’ll have a martini at a bar like no other and be entertained non-stop. Getting into the final is, in itself, a hell of a prize.
So how do you get to the final? That seems a very fair question. This competition is about three things – Hepple Gin, the martini and pre-batching. They are looking for you to create the Ultimate Hepple Martini, which must follow these rules:
Use Hepple Gin as the base spirit
Reflect their passion for nature and purity of flavour
Be pre-bottled, pre-diluted and pre-chilled ready for serve
Will be served straight from the bottle into a 170ml Hepple Nick & Nora glass (multiple serves can be contained in the bottle)
There you go, fill your boots. If you want more information on the company and their values to inspire your creation their website is full of info.
You will be judged at regional heats in London (12th May Lowback, Hawksmoor), Manchester (11th May, venue tbc) and Edinburgh (9th May, Hawksmoor) early May on the following criteria:
Quality of Cocktail: aromatic, visual appeal, and above all, flavour
Presentation on Social Media (details to come after heat competitors picked but will not be a ‘like’/popularity concept)
Let us finish where we started, with the epic prize. First up let’s not forget the trip to the distillery for the finalists, you will have one hell of a time there. Then for one lucky soul a trip to Athens Bar Show later this year and the chance to not only visit the show but to experience one of the best cocktail bar cities in the world.
There are two more people behind Hepple who were not at the distillery when we visited who are vital to the liquid in the bottle and, one at least, for your prize. Cairbry Hill, distillery developer and boundary pusher; Nick Strangeway, a creative force and your fellow bartender for a night. Yep, you get to put on a show for the international bar community for a night at one of the best bars in one of the best cocktail cities with one of the greats. He’ll also be joining BarLifeUK judging the heats, the lucky thing.
To enter and get yourself in the mix fill in this form, and good luck.