The team at Glenfiddich whisky have launched a new search to find the world’s most experimental bartender after the success of the inaugural competition last year.
Running in the UK and internationally, it aims to recognise and reward individuals who collaborate with artists outside of the traditional drinks world to create a more surprising, inventive drinking experience.
The winner will earn the title of The World’s Most Experimental Bartender, with their creativity being showcased globally.
Last year, Northern Irish bartender Nathan O’Neill of New York’s NoMad Hotel took the title for his collaboration with chef John Taube. The pair created a new generation of cooked Glenfiddich cocktails, inspired by the sous-vide cooking technique of cooking under vacuum, locking in moisture and flavour while ensuring an even result.
Other collaboration finalists included ceramics, videography, edible art, cheese making, sound engineering, game creation, cuisine and furniture design.
Bartenders are again challenged to collaborate with a master of another field to jointly create something unique, inspired by Glenfiddich. Finalists from countries around the globe, including the UK, will then be invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in Scotland, where they will compete for the opportunity of bringing their idea to life, supported by Glenfiddich.
The academy is an intense and immersive three-day experience where the UK’s favourite co-creators will learn how to make whisky from scratch. They will have the exclusive opportunity to absorb knowledge from Glenfiddich’s distillery experts, from the mash man to the cooper, the still man to malt master Brian Kinsman, and these extraordinary craftsmen will share the techniques that have made Glenfiddich the most awarded single malt scotch whisky today.
Armed with fresh knowledge and tools, the collaborative pairs will then refine their innovation ideas to pitch to a panel of judges that will include Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich global brand ambassador Struan Grant Ralph and Kirsten Grant Meikle, director of prestige UK for Glenfiddich owner William Grant & Sons.
After being named the 2016 World’s Most Experimental Bartender, Nathan said: “Collaboration has always been my greatest source of inspiration, particularly watching, learning, and developing skills from other crafts, so this competition was an ideal opportunity for me.
“We re-imagined the food pairings of the Glenfiddich ancestors and created a dish that transported guests back to the Scottish Highlands of previous generations. This is a hugely exciting opportunity!”
Struan Grant Ralph added: “Our award-winning whiskies are sold in the world’s finest bars, existing in a space where the demand for co-creation has never been higher. This competition is an opportunity for maverick bartenders to extend the boundaries of the whisky industry – collaborating with masters outside of their trade to create an entry that meets both of their passions, while meeting the hunger for a serve that challenges the industry norm.”
Open for entries now, the closing date in the UK will be June 12, 2017. The UK finalists will be announced on June 19, selected by the Glenfiddich UK brand team and UK ambassador Mark Thomson, before competing in the UK final on July 12. Global finalists will be announced in September 2017 and will take part in the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in Scotland in November.
For more details on how to enter and for the full terms and conditions of the competition, please visit http://www.glenfiddich.com/uk/explore/experimental-whisky. All entrants must be over 25 years old and have the flexibility to attend a week-long trip to Scotland in November 2017.