Bartenders win Iceland solstice trip at 24-hour competition

reyka 24 hour competition

Six bartenders are off to celebrate the summer solstice in Iceland with Reyka vodka after coming top in a 24-hour cocktail competition in which 84 bartenders took part.

The winners were Connie Cain from Rynd Bar & Kitchen in Reading and five from London: Dan Collins of NOLA, Harry Gerakis of Loves Company, Fabiano Latham of Joyeux Bordel, Adam Spinks of Kilburn Ironworks and Sid Kapoor of Lockside.

The competition, run by William Grant & Sons UK and the Reyka team, ran from midday on Monday June 1 to midday on Tuesday June 2 at Sovereign Loss in Brixton, south London.

The 84 bartenders each had 15 minutes to create and serve a Reyka cocktail to a panel of judges who rated them on appearance, aroma and taste. The judges – including Bar magazine editor Mark Ludmon – worked in shifts, overseen by the William Grant & Sons UK team to ensure consistency.

The six winners will travel to Iceland this month to visit the distillery where Reyka is produced and to explore Iceland’s spectacular landscapes. They will also party under the midnight sun at the Secret Solstice music festival in Reykjavik – the only festival where the sun does not set.

The competition attracted many leading bartenders, mainly from London and the south-east but also from Cardiff and Glasgow, representing groups such as Be At One and bars such as Callooh Callay, Dandelyan, Milk Bar, Mash London and Looking Glass Cocktail Club in London.

Reyka brand ambassador Joe Petch, who conceived and hosted the competition, said: “We came up with a competition that reflected Reyka’s creativity and unconventional approach and are happy that the winning cocktails all brought this to life.

“We are thrilled at the number of bartenders who entered the competition and the quality of the Reyka cocktails that they made.

“We want to give special mention to Ten Mill Lane in Cardiff who sent two great bartenders and to Gina Camfield who travelled from BoBar in Glasgow to take part. Finally, a huge thanks to the Sovereign Loss team for hosting and support.”

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