Bartender wins San Francisco trip by ‘unlocking taste’ with No 3 gin

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Mikey Ball (pictured) from Dandelyan at the Mondrian London hotel will be off to San Francisco after winning a national cocktail competition with No 3 London Dry Gin.

He was one of 23 bartenders who won places in the UK final in the cellars of Berry Bros & Rudd in St James’s in London after being set the challenge to “Unlock Taste” by creating new cocktail recipes.

The tournament comprised of three rounds, with 10 bartenders making it through to the semi-final and three to the grand final. Mikey reached this last stage along with Boris Cvetanov from Fifteen and Johnny Munoz Iniesta from Hawksmoor Spitalfields, both in London.

All three in the grand final have also won a trip to the Netherlands including a distillery visit to see how the gin is produced. The 10 semi-finalists each received a £50 voucher to spend at Berry Bros & Rudd, which owns No 3 London Dry Gin.

Mikey’s cocktail, the 8th Merchant, earned him the top prize, mixing the gin with spiced honey and conifer resin bitters, served over a block of ice with grapefruit zest and a pine sprig. The recipe for this, plus his other two cocktails, Lyne Drops and The Steep, are below.

The competition’s head judge Jess Cheeseman, business development manager at Berry Bros & Rudd’s UK importer Fields, Morris & Verdin, said: “Mikey’s series of cocktails combined innovative ingredient combinations that were true to the concept of ‘Unlock Taste’ and tasted delicious.

“Throughout the rounds he balanced ingredients such as chickpea brine, mixed citrus cordial and micro coriander. His expertly presented creation for the grand final, the 8th Merchant, held a harmonious balance of No 3 London Dry Gin’s classic botanical flavours with spiced honey and conifer resin bitters.”

8th Merchant by Mikey Ball (pictured below)
50ml No 3 London Dry Gin
5ml Spiced honey
6 dashes Conifer resin bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain over a chunk of block ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a grapefruit zest twist, discarded, and a pine sprig.

Lyne Drops by Mikey Ball
50ml No 3 London Dry Gin
7.5ml Hop-infused Martini Ambrato Vermouth
3 dashes Resin bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with cyprus oil.

The Steep by Mikey Ball
50ml No 3 London Dry Gin
20ml Chickpea brine
37.5ml Mixed citrus cordial sweetened with honey
1 pinch Micro coriander
3 dashes Cardamom bitters
Dry shake all ingredients, shake again with ice and fine strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with micro coriander.

Merchant No 3 gin

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