Win A Trip to Tales with the Merlet Sidecar Competition

Sidecar by Merlet is back for 2014 and the prize is one that’s sure to make every bartender sit up and take notice – a trip to Tales of The Cocktail next year.

The Sidecar is an iconic cocktail and it will come as no surprise to you that the history of this drink is somewhat shrouded in mystery and controversy. The main argument revolves around who made the drink and where.

It is basically a two man fight between Pat MacGarry from a bar called Buck’s Club in London and Harry MacElhone from Harry’s Bar in Paris. Quite frankly we will probably never know and it’s not worth losing too much sleep over.

What we do know is that it’s first appearance in print was in 1907, it has appeared in pretty much every classic cocktail book ever written (although they don’t seem to be able to agree on the perfect ratios) and it is absolutely delicious.

For the record BarLifeUK doesn’t hold much credence to the claim Dale DeGroff made that the Sidecar was originally invented in New Orleans in the 19th Century. You can’t have it all America….

It is this iconic cocktail that Merlet want to see you adapt. The only rule is Merlet Brothers Blended Cognac and Merlet Trois Citrus must be used and it must, of course, be a twist on a Sidecar!

Should you make it through on the day you will also be confronted by the dreaded Mystery Box round. This one has a slight twist however which makes it significantly less scary.

For starters the only things in the Mystery Boxes are bottles of Merlet Fraise, Framboisse and Peche as well as bottles of Fords Gin, Cabeza Tequila and Cana Brava Rum from the 86 Company range. You will be asked to pick one liqueur and one spirit.

From there you will have 30 minutes thinking time and anything you like from the back bar of the venue to create your masterpiece.

However we want to get you thinking about this so are asking you to pick one of the three flavours and one of the three spirits, invent an original and tasty cocktail and enter it (along with your Sidecar twist) below. These two cocktails will be used for the paper judging round.

There will be two heats (Edinburgh and London) with the top three from each making it through to the final in London. At the final a winner will be picked to head to Cognac for a few days fun and a competition against 7 other winners from around Europe.

The overall winner will be jetting off to the home of the hangover, the abode of Alibi, the lair of the layback, Tales of the Cocktail 2015.

Entry deadline for London is July 22nd and Scotland is August 15th.

You will be judged on the following:

  • Name
  • Combination of Ingredients
  • Balance
  • Taste
  • Presentation
  • Are the Merlet products highlighted

Each of these will be marked out of 10 for each drink and Technical Working, Bartender Convivialite, Recipe Explanation will also be marked out of 10 each across both rounds.