From the infamous Ramos Fizz Cocktail Relay to a tug of war, brand ambassadors and bartenders came together to meet some traditional and more unusual sporting challenges at William Grant & Sons UK’s Highland Festival.
Taking place in Haggerston Park in London, bartenders were split into eight teams, each headed by one of the company’s brand ambassadors. The prize on offer was a trip to Berlin.
Pictured below, the winners were the team led by Joe Petch, global brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder, with Ben Alcock of HMSS in Bristol, Nathan Shearer from Swift in London, Iain McPherson from Panda & Sons and Hoot the Redeemer in Edinburgh, Cara Watson from Hoot the Redeemer, Filip Stříbrný from Duck and Waffle in London, Mattia Conti from London Cocktail Club and Arjun Sahi from London.
Joe commented: “Another sunny day at the Highland Festival! Such a great day and so good to see everyone in-between the mad competition rounds! Great effort from my Monkey Shoulder team members – in the words of Iain McPherson, ‘Winners win Berlin Dinners’.”
Ben from HMSS added: “Highland Festival is a day that everyone looks forward to all summer – it’s like sports day all over again – and to be crowned the winning team makes the day that little bit sweeter. Bring on the celebrations in Berlin! I of course have to say a big thank you to the William Grant & Sons UK team for making this day happen year after year – it is events like Highland Festival that make us love the industry we work in.”
The competitors were faced with a new challenge called Sucker Punch, along with 2016 favourites, Bootcamp Challenge and Last Man Standing, The Ramos Fizz Cocktail Relay and Tug of War.
The teams and their supporters kept spirits high with delicious meatballs by the team at Belpassi Bros and signature Disaronno Sours from the Disaronno Terrace bar while the Sailor Jerry Airstream bar served up cocktails from across the William Grant & Sons UK portfolio, including Sailor Jerry’s Ginger Colada, Reyka and Tonic, Monkey Shoulder’s Ginger Monkey, Hendrick’s and Tonic, Glenfiddich IPA’s Don’t be Fooled, and the Drambuie Collins.
Matt Sayer, senior prestige on-trade manager at William Grant & Sons UK, added: “Every year Highland Festival just gets bigger and better, and this year definitely didn’t disappoint. There aren’t many other days in the year when we’re able to bring together all our ambassadors and members of the on-trade. It is also just a fantastic way to say thank you to the bar teams across the UK for the work they do with our brands every day.”
The other teams were:
- Team Glenfiddich, led by UK brand ambassador Mark Thomson
- Team The Balvenie, led by UK brand ambassador Alwynne Gwilt
- Team Hendrick’s, led by UK brand ambassador Ally Martin
- Team Sailor Jerry, led by UK brand ambassador EmmaLi Stenhouse
- Team Reyka, led by UK brand ambassador Fabiano Latham (2016 champions)
- Team Tia Maria, led by UK brand ambassador Stephanie Rainbow
- Team Wood’s, led by rum specialist Stephen Rutherford
- Team Drambuie, led by global ambassador Freddy May