James Fowler (pictured) from The Larder House and The Library in Bournemouth has been crowned World Class UK Bartender Of The Year 2014 after a mid-air final on a British Airways flight.
After a week-long series of challenges, he overcame competition from seven other UK finalists to impress judges with his bartending skills as well as his cocktail called Copper Colours.
The drink is made with Ketel One vodka, Butterfly Absinthe, Pacharan sloe liqueur, Lepanto OV brandy, garnished with serrano ham slices and burnt clementine wedges and drizzled with clementine-infused arbequina oil.
He was announced as winner on board a British Airways flight from Hong Kong and will go on to represent the UK in the global final which this year is returning to Britain. He will also see his cocktail added to the menu of BA’s First lounge at Terminal 5 from August.
James said: “I’m overwhelmed to be crowned World Class UK Bartender of the Year 2014 and delighted to know that my winning cocktail will be served to First Class customers on British Airways flights.
“It’s an honour to have been on this journey with so many talented bartenders. The unique challenges we faced throughout the final have tested our creativity, knowledge and skill and really pushed us to our limits.
“I can’t wait to compete against the world’s best bartenders on home turf when the World Class Global Final arrives in the UK in July.”
The finalists’ challenges, spread across two countries, included making cocktails at 35,000 feet on board a British Airways superjumbo to Hong Kong and a chef’s challenge set by leading British chef Jason Atherton once they arrived in Hong Kong.
Over the past ten months, contenders from some of the best bars around the world have competed in local and regional heats.
The other three finalists who made it to the final stages on the flights to and from Hong Kong were Massimo Zitti from Cane & Grain in Manchester, Richard Tring from Red Light in Bristol and Nathan O’Neill from Milk & Honey in London.
James will compete alongside participants from over 50 countries at the global final in July, which takes place in locations across Scotland and London.
He runs restaurant and bar The Larder House in Southbourne, Bournemouth, which opened in September 2011. He also owns another Southbourne bar The Library, which he opened over a year ago.
Copper Colours by James Fowler
40ml Ketel One vodka
2 dashes of Butterfly Absinthe
20ml Lepanto OV
Stir and serve in a pre-chilled glass. Garnish with serrano ham slices and burnt clementine wedges plus drizzled with clementine-infused arbequina oil.
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