Bartender wins job with Funkin as its Innovation Champion


Funkin Shea Campbell

Shea Campbell of Orchid in Aberdeen is to help cocktail specialist Funkin develop new ideas after winning the brand’s Innovation Champion competition.

Pictured above, he impressed judges with a drink using Funkin Pro Jalapeño Syrup and cucumber ice, winning £500 and the chance to work with the brand for the next year on a part-time paid basis.

Taking place at The Cocktail Trading Co in Bethnal Green Road in east London, it opened with a round where the three finalists presented their own innovation ideas along with an original Funkin cocktail to a panel of judges.

In the second round, they were sent on a surprise “Funkin forage” around east London where they were challenged to create an innovative cocktail using a Funkin product due to be released next year. After tasting the new product, the finalists were given a budget of £30 and 30 minutes to explore the local area for interesting cocktail ingredients to incorporate in their drinks.

The other two finalists, pictured below with Shea, were Andrei Pantiru of 14 Leicester Square in London and Sam Ameye of The Cocktail Trading Co.

Shea wowed the judges with his first-round drink, Tequila Sour, which centred on the recently launched Funkin Pro Jalapeño Syrup and his innovation idea, cucumber ice, which resulted in a perfectly balanced spicy and refreshing cooler cocktail.

Shea said: “I’m over the moon to be the next Funkin Innovation Champion. The final day was great fun and definitely kept us on our toes. I can’t wait to start working with Funkin as innovation is one of my passions and they always create new and exciting products.”

Funkin head of marketing Ben Anderson added: “We were impressed with all the finalists’ creativity and their ability to create really exciting cocktails using some of Funkin’s newest products.

“Innovation and exploration is at the core of Funkin’s values so we were pleased to see this in all the finalists’ cocktails along with their insight into where the cocktail scene is heading.

“Shea impressed us with his passion for Funkin products and his exceptional ability to put a unique twist on cocktails. We are delighted to be working with Shea over the next year and look forward to kicking off a creative collaboration.”

Tequila Sour by Shea Campbell

50ml Blanco tequila
10ml Sherry
20ml Funkin Pro Jalapeño Syrup
20ml Funkin Pro Lime
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 dashes Saline solution
Garnish: Fresh jalapeño, cucumber ice block
Stir all the ingredients and pour over the ice block in an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with fresh jalapeño.

Funkin Innovation Champion finalists

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