Bartender and chef win Barcelona trip with twisted Martini

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A bartender and chef have won a trip to Barcelona in a competition seeking a Martini-inspired cocktail with a complementary garnish or food pairing.

Bartender Claudio Iucolino from Dry Martini at the Meliá White House hotel in London joined forces with Stefano Toscano from the hotel’s kitchens to take the top prize in the competition run by London-based Bimber Distillery.

Their cocktail, Upstream Cocktail, combined Bimber Oak Aged Vodka with thyme-infused honey water and lime juice macerated with green peppercorns plus a spray of lime-infused Bimber Vodka.

They macerated slices of smoked salmon in the same ingredients, serving it with lime-infused Bimber Vodka alongside the cocktail.

The judges at the final at Dry Martini bar in London included Javier de las Muelas, founder of Dry Martini in Barcelona, alongside Alessandro Palazzi of Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel in London, Mike Sweetman of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild and legendary bartender Peter Dorelli.

The pair have won flights to Barcelona to visit the original Dry Martini bar, plus food and drink vouchers to spend at the bar. They also each received an engraved cocktail shaker, the Whisky Distiller’s Experience at the Bimber distillery and personalised Bimber spirits of their choice.

UK bartenders were challenged to use Bimber English Barley Vodka or Bimber Oak Aged Vodka in a cocktail inspired by a classic Martini and its variations such as a Martinez, Milano Torino, Vesper or Manhattan. It had to be suitable for enjoying as an aperitivo/entrée with a modern touch.

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