Bartender wins trip to Kentucky in Buffalo Trace competition

Buffalo Trace winner Maxime Creusot

Bartender Maxime Creusot will be going on an all-expenses paid trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky after winning the latest Buffalo Trace cocktail competition.

Maxime (pictured), who works at Steam & Rye in the City of London, saw off strong competition from other London bartenders to take first prize in the contest organised by Hi-Spirits, UK distributor of Buffalo Trace bourbon.

For the Buffalo Trace 8 Steps competition, they were asked to create a unique drink reflecting one or more of the eight steps required to make Buffalo Trace, from milling the grain through to bottling the spirit after at least eight years of barrel ageing.

Inspired by the ageing process, the ingredients for Maxime’s winning cocktail, called Trace of the Gold Miners (pictured below), had been bottled and sealed for three weeks before the final preparation of the drink for the panel of judges at Blues Bar & Kitchen in Shoreditch. Marks were awarded based on a range of six criteria including product knowledge, technique and taste.

Second prize went to Troels Knudsen of Mash in Soho, with Alice and the Colonel’s Brewer’s Beer Picnic, while third place was awarded to Felicity Gransden of the Cadogan Arms in Chelsea with Bluegrass Cherry Sour.

Maxime will be joined this October on the trip to the Buffalo Trace distillery in Franklin County, Kentucky, by seven other bartenders who have won regional competitions held around the UK.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Bourbon is the basis of some of the world’s greatest cocktails, and so it takes real flair and imagination to come up with new Buffalo Trace drinks to rival the classics.

“Congratulations to Maxime and all the regional winners, who will no doubt return from Kentucky with even more innovative ideas.”

Trace of The Gold Miners by Maxime Creusot

40ml Buffalo Trace bourbon
25ml Apricot brandy
25ml Galliano L’Autentico
3 dashes orange bitters
25ml Vanilla syrup
20ml Lemon juice

Combine the ingredients except the lemon juice and seal them in a bottle for three weeks. Flame the blend with bay leaves, cardamom, star anise, vanilla pod, cinnamon and a burst of orange zest. Fine strain into a lantern, add the lemon juice, crushed ice and swizzle. Add an LED cube and dry ice.
Buffalo Trace cocktails
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