Canada’s Evelyn Chick wins global Beefeater final in London

Desmond Payne Evelyn Chick

Evelyn Chick from Canada has been declared global winner of Beefeater Gin’s MIXLDN competition after finalists completed three days of challenges in London.

She impressed judges with her performance throughout the competition, including creating an original cocktail called Endless English Summers. inspired by a walk through London’s Green Park. She is pictured with her award and Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne.

Evelyn, who works at The Harbord Room in Toronto, was one of 31 finalists from around the world who also included UK winner Joe Schofield from the American Bar and Beaufort Bar at The Savoy in London.

They all went through a three-day immersion in London’s cocktail history this week, undertaking a series of challenges to test their bartending skills such as creating bottled cocktails. For their signature drink, they were challenged to create a twist on a classic inspired by London, the home of Beefeater.

Taking inspiration from a classic Gimlet, Evelyn’s cocktail combines Beefeater London Dry Gin with fino sherry, salted Pernod and her own cordial made with caraway, fennel, fennel pollen, lemon, pomelo and citric acid, served chilled but without ice in a Nick & Nora glass, garnished with a pomelo peel.

As Beefeater MIXLDN 2015 Global Bartender Champion, she will be mentored by experts as part of the Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador Programme. After in-depth one-to-one training at the Beefeater Distillery in Kennington in London, she will represent Beefeater at exclusive events in Canada and travel to some of the world’s most prestigious bartender events such as Moscow Bar Show and Berlin Bar Convent.

Evelyn also won a separate trophy for best signature drink while Kelly Ballett from Lulu White in Paris, representing France, won the bottled cocktail challenge trophy.

Beefeater MIXLDN Global Finalists

Evelyn and Kelly were among eight of the 31 bartenders who made it through to the final judging at The Vinyl Factory in Soho last night. The other six included Joe Schofield along with Janson Chan from China, Frank Thelen from Germany, Claudia Rodriguez from Mexico, Johan Evers from Sweden, and Karen Grill from the USA.

The judges over the three days included Desmond Payne, bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana of London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan, drinks historian Anistatia Miller, leading bartender Esther Medina Cuesta, and Gary Sharpen of magazine The Cocktail Lovers.

JC Iglesias, international brand director for Beefeater, said: “Beefeater is committed to supporting the growth of the global cocktail scene, and our 2015 MIXLDN Cocktail Competition has uncovered a new wave of skill and dynamism within the global on-trade community.

“Every year we look forward to welcoming some of the most talented bartenders from around the world to join us here in London, Beefeater’s home, to truly understand what makes this gin great.

“The quality of the cocktails delivered by our 31 national finalists this year has been truly remarkable and we would like to heartily congratulate our champion Evelyn Chick.”

The other global finalists were Maya van Damme from Belgium, Maria-Margarita Gelemenova from Bulgaria, Juan Egea Quiroga (aka Camilo Egea) from Colombia, Aloisek Martinez from Cuba, Miloš Danihelka from the Czech Republic, Martin Clausen from Denmark, Ainar Kiison from Estonia, Wing Yi Lam from Hong Kong, Carl D’Alton from Ireland, Maria Mordvinov from Israel, Al Igarashi from Japan, Jessie Algar from New Zealand, Slavomir Kytka from Norway, Katerina Babich from Russia, Filip Ivanovic from Serbia, Martin Zupina from Slovakia, Brent Perremore from South Africa, Jun Beom Park from South Korea, Carlos Vega from Spain, Diogo Martins from Portugal, Luka Hochmuth from Austria, Stefano Armiento from Italy, and Natalia Livitsanou from Greece. Edward Khattar, the winner from Lebanon, was unable to attend.

Beefeater MIXLDN Endless English Summers

Endless English Summers by Evelyn Chick (imperial fluid ounces*)

1.75oz Beefeater Gin
0.5oz Fino sherry (Tio Pepe)
0.5oz “Green Park Cordial”
6 drops salted Pernod (8:1 saline solution)

For the Green Park Cordial:
1.25kg granulated white sugar
2 Unwaxed lemons
1/2 Pomelo (peel & fruit)
1 Fennel bulb
1 teaspoon Caraway seeds
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1 barspoon Fennel pollen
62g citric acid
750ml water

Pre-chill stirring glass. Combine Beefeater London Dry gin, sherry, Green Park Cordial and salted Pernod in the glass. Add ice and stir to dilute (about 20 to 30 stirs). Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a pomelo peel, cut and placed on the rim of the glass.

* 1.75 fluid ounces is about 50ml and 0.5 fluid ounces is about 15ml.

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