A new competition launched by Buffalo Trace Bourbon will test bartenders not just on their cocktail skills but also set them puzzles to find the ingredients they need.
UK distributor Hi-Spirits is offering the prize of a VIP trip to the whiskey’s Kentucky distillery to five regional winners in the new UK-wide Mystery Migration competition which is being launched this weekend.
In the regional finals, bartenders will set out around their city on a series of challenges so they can win the ingredients they want to make their cocktail with. If they fail, they will get a substitute.
The theme celebrates the many obstacles overcome by the pioneering settlers who founded the Kentucky distillery where Buffalo Trace is now made.
To enter, bartenders should initially submit two original cocktail recipes using Buffalo Trace Bourbon. These should include one long drink, made with no more than three ingredients, and one signature drink on the theme of “Pioneering America”, reflecting each bartender’s favourite thing to come out of the USA.
Eight bartenders will be selected for five regional finals in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol.
Competitors will be given clues testing their knowledge of both Buffalo Trace and bourbon in general. These will lead them around the city and to particular venues to complete the challenges.
A correct solution will win them the opportunity to choose an ingredient from the “nice” box, while contestants who get it wrong will pick from the “not so nice” box, making the final cocktail-making test far more of a challenge.
Tim Giles, UK brand manager for Buffalo Trace, said: “The puzzles add a new dimension to cocktail competitions, and any bartender who doesn’t win all the ingredients they want will have to demonstrate flexibility and ingenuity to stay in the game.
“There are also bonus points available for bars which promote their cocktail to customers in the run-up to the final, which could make a big difference to the outcome.”
The top prize at each regional final is the trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery later this year along with a leather cocktail equipment case. There are also prizes of bespoke bar equipment and a mini set of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection for the two runners-up in each region.
The Buffalo Trace Mystery Migration competition opens on May 1 and runs until June 25, when the regional finalists will be selected. Full entry details, along with terms and conditions, will be available at www.buffalotrace.co.uk/bartenderscorner.