Belfast bartender secures UK Beefeater title

Nathan O’Neill (pictured) from The Merchant Hotel in Belfast has been named the UK winner of the Beefeater 24 Cocktail Competition. He will go on to represent the UK in the global final at the Beefeater Distillery in London this November.

The UK final was held at Circus in central London, featuring 12 bartenders from regional heats in London, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leicester and Bristol as well as via an online entry system.

Each bartender developed and served a tea-infused cocktail incorporating Beefeater 24, and was judged on the creativity, originality, aroma, taste and presentation of their cocktail.

Nathan’s winning cocktail was Mr Burrough’s Reviver which took inspiration from the history of Beefeater Gin which was first made by chemist James Burrough in London in 1862. Nathan said: “Mr Burrough’s Reviver is inspired by the flavours of the global trade in the 1860s when James Burrough himself would have been acquiring fruits, herbs, teas and spirits to create what we know today as Beefeater Gin. Danish aquavit mixed with Parisian absinthe, infused with Lapsong tea, green tea syrup created from sencha and a dash of beautiful almond water, complements the botanicals of Beefeater 24 to bring 19th-century flavours to 21st-century London.”

He will compete at the end of November for the title of Beefeater 24 Global Bartender 2012 as well as a “money can’t buy” trip to Japan. As UK winner, he received an exclusive Beefeater 24 Alessi Bartending Kit, a certificate, a trophy and a gold teapot.

Adam Boita, marketing manager for Beefeater at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “The judging panel was very impressed with all of the serves created… and look forward to seeing the finalists from around the world competing for the title of Beefeater 24 Global Bartender 2012 and the trip of a lifetime to Japan. Nathan’s winning cocktail can be used as inspiration for bartenders all over the UK who are keen to experiment with Beefeater 24 in the future.”

Mr Burrough’s Reviver by Nathan O’Neill

2 dashes Absinthe infused with Lapsong tea (1g to 75ml, cold infused for 15 minutes)
2.5ml Almond water
10ml Green tea syrup
15ml Fresh lemon juice
10ml Aalborg Taffel Akvavit
40ml Beefeater 24
Garnish: Lemon Spiral on side of glass
Glass: Coupette

The absinthe is infused with Lapsong tea – 1g of Lapsong tea is infused into 75ml of absinthe. This is then set in a bath of ice and left to infuse for 15 minutes. The almond water recipe is 600ml of water and 250g of almonds: blanch these and allow them to sit in water for two hours. Blend or blitz and allow to simmer for three hours. Strain off the almonds and reduce the almond water by half. Once this is done, add 10ml of orange flower water and 180g of caster sugar. Monin Orgeat may also be used, but allow for a slightly different texture. The green tea syrup is 200g of Sencha tea in 500ml of sugar syrup, simmered on a low heat and removed before boiling and then allowed to cool before bottling. To create the cocktail itself, add all ingredients into a Boston tin and shake using large blocked ice, before double-straining into a 3oz coupette glass and garnishing.

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