Four bartenders reach final of Pepsi Max cocktail competition

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Four bartenders are through to the final of a cocktail competition run for Pepsi Max, hoping to win a trip to Ibiza Rocks next year.

They will battle it out at an event on Friday (October 6) at The Max Lounge in The Cocktail Village in Old Spitalfields Market, part of London Cocktail Week.

The finalists are Jack Docherty of Alston Bar & Beef in Glasgow, Eloise Stevenson of Lost Property in Nottingham, Amber Blood from London Cocktail Club in Shoreditch in London, and Salvatore Cipolla from BYOC East in London.

The competition, run by BarLife UK in association with Britvic, called on bartenders to create two cocktails: a twist on a Cuba Libre (pictured) made to complement the unique blend of flavours in sugar-free Pepsi Max, and an original cocktail with the only rule that it had to include at least one product from the Britvic range.

The Max Lounge is open throughout London Cocktail Week, which ends on October 8, with a laid-back main bar and a more premium cocktail bar as well as a sensory room and a silent disco.

All four Cuba Libre cocktails are being served in The Max Lounge until Thursday this week so that visitors can vote for their favourite. The more orders a cocktail gets before the final, the higher it will go up the ranking.

On Friday, the finalists will make both their cocktails in front of a panel of expert judges in The Max Lounge before the winner is announced. The prize is a five-day all-expenses-paid trip for two to Ibiza Rocks music festival in 2018.

Pepsi brand manager Sarah De La Mare said: “We were really impressed with the standard of entries in this competition. The cocktails entered in both categories were outstanding and it was really fascinating to see the creative way in which bartenders were using our products to come up with some really imaginative cocktails.

“In particular, we were keen to encourage bartenders to experiment with Pepsi Max and demonstrate that its unique blend of flavours can produce a great tasting cocktail.

“The finalists faced really stiff competition and all four are thoroughly deserving of their place in the final in The Max Lounge bar.”

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