Bartender competition seeks best use of ice in cocktails

ice-o-matic ice

A nationwide cocktail competition for bartenders has been launched that seeks to find the best use of ice in an original drink.

The Cocktails on Ice challenge has been created by leading ice machine manufacturer Ice-O-Matic with the prize of an expenses-paid trip to Sweden’s Ice Hotel which is made completely from ice.

Entrants are being asked to demonstrate skills and passion for bartending while incorporating a unique use of ice in their original drinks concept.

Eoin Kenny, bar manager of Ham Yard Hotel in London and a competition judge, said: “The UK has a world-renowned bar scene and has been pushing mixology boundaries for many years. We are asking our entrants to push the limits further and start to explore possibilities with a key component to any cocktail – ice.

“We really can’t wait to see what entrants come up with – this part of any competition is always really fascinating. And the unique element of the competition means it’s really anyone’s game, so we are encouraging newbies, veterans and anyone with an interest to get involved.”

Entrants first need to register their interest at along with the name of their “favourite cocktail” by February 28, 2016.

Once entered, bartenders will be asked to submit a 90-second video of their cocktail-making process along with three recipes including one original one which demonstrates an innovative use of ice for the first round of judging. With a deadline of March 25, these will be whittled down to six competitors for the grand live final at the Imbibe Live show on July 4 and 5 in London.

Each competition entry will be assessed on flavour combination, creativity and presentation by an expert panel of judges which also includes Wendy Stoklasova, bar manager of Oblix at The Shard in London, and Clara-Louise Paul, ‎national sales and marketing manager for 3Sixty Restaurants which operates Rocket restaurants and bars.

Wendy said: “I am delighted to be supporting Ice-O-Matic’s ‘Cocktails on Ice’ because initiatives like this really celebrate the depth and breadth of skills of UK bartenders.

“It’s an important part of skills development for UK mixologists as it provides a platform for the very best to showcase what they’re capable of as well as to inspire the next generation.”

For more information on the ‘Cocktails on Ice’ competition, visit

Updated February 10 with revision to entry process.

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