Bartenders to compete in UK’s first Sake Cocktail Awards

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Bartenders are to compete to make the best cocktails with sake in new awards held as part of the Hyper Japan Christmas Market in London next month.

They have been nominated to take part in the first Sake Cocktail Awards, taking place over three days during the show which celebrates Japanese food and culture.

The nine bartenders will make their cocktails throughout the event and be judged by the expected 1,500 visitors. A winner will be announced at the end of each day.

The nominees – from London bars and restaurants – are:

  • Enrique Gomez, bar manager at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi
  • James Hawkins from Matsuri St James’s
  • Marco Rosina, assistant bar manager at Chotto Matte
  • Marie Ariga from Wazen
  • Mario Giaconia, head bartender at Yashin Ocean House
  • Phil Docherty, assistant bar manager at Chotto Matte
  • Salvatore Maggio, bar supervisor at The Westbury Hotel
  • Sonny Cormack
  • Ryu Okada, director and founder of caterer Kampai Cocktails

Oliver Hilton-Johnson, director and sake specialist of Tengu Sake and sake educator for the British Sake Association, said: “Hyper Japan will allow visitors to try sake in a familiar environment by sampling a variety of amazing sake cocktails.

“Whilst the UK consumer is not spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of alcoholic drinks on offer, few are quite as versatile and rewarding as sake.”

Products being supplied by the Sake Cocktail Awards sponsors will be Gekkeikan Nigori from Gekkeikan Sake, Ikezo Sparkling Jelly Sake Peach from Ozeki, and Sho Chiku Bai Shirakabegura Kimoto Junmai from Shirakabegura.

Hyper Japan Christmas Market will be at Tobacco Dock in London from November 27 to 29 and feature a broad range of sakes from different producers.

For details, visit www.hyperjapan.co.uk.

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