Adam Binnersley from Salford bar Under New Management, formerly Corridor, came first in the competition that challenged bartenders to create an original cocktail using Chairman’s Reserve rum from St Lucia.
His recipe, Chairman’s Moo mixed the rum with Briottet fig liqueur, honey and pistachio syrup, Angostura Bitters and buttermilk. His presentation featured colleague Brodie Meah dressed as a cow.
In second place was Tom Higham from Kosmonaut in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. His cocktail, Luciana Helena, combined Chairman’s Reserve with pineapple and sage syrup, smoked paprika syrup, lime, egg white and Peychaud’s bitters.
The final featured six bartenders from the north of England and Scotland who were selected in an initial judging stage by two leading rum bloggers, Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack and Steven James of Rum Diaries.
The final was judged by leading bartender Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Bar magazine editor Mark Ludmon and Scott Wallace from Emporia Brands, which distributes Chairman’s Reserve in the UK.
The judges looked for knowledge on the Chairman’s Reserve brand, the appearance and presentation of the drink, the aromas of the cocktail and how it tasted. The final was held on the drinks stage at Northern Restaurant & Bar on March 19.
Despite the competition being launched with the prize of only one place on a trip to St Lucia, Emporia Brands chairman James Rackham decided that the quality of Tom’s drink and presentation had earned him a place alongside Adam.
Thom Hetherington, managing director of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said: “This show is all about celebrating the best of the northern food and drink world, and in Adam I think we have an absolute star. I don’t doubt he’ll hold his own in St Lucia.”
The host and organiser of the competition was Dave Marsland, also known as Drinks Enthusiast and northern representative of Emporia Brands. He said: “It’s great to see that the entries were so close that we are able to take two winners to St Lucia. They both join me for what will be an incredible experience, and we look forward to representing Manchester.”
Adam and Tom will visit St Lucia later in the year and experience rum training at the distillery, have a chance to share expertise with the island’s enthusiastic bartenders and explore the Caribbean island.
Adam Binnersley is pictured right with James Rackham, centre, and Brodie Meah, left
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