Creative ice serve wins place in whisky final

Please No More SnowJon Lister of Purl in Marylebone has won the London heat of a nationwide competition run for The Naked Grouse blended whisky.

Bartenders were challenged to re-imagine the Old Fashioned, working with the four original ingredients of sugar, bitters, whisky and ice but being creative with the use of ice.

Jon impressed judges with his multi-sensory Please, No More Snow (pictured above), using ice shards and a homemade nettle and damson syrup.

Held at Purl, the London heat led to other competitors coming up with flavour-infused ice cubes and vessels made of ice.

The competition was organised by Maxxium UK, distributors of the premium whisky which blends Highland Park and The Macallan malts which are then slow-matured in first-fill Spanish sherry casks

Amanda Humphrey of Maxxium UK’s Mixxit training team, who chaired the judging panel, said: “Ice is such a simple ingredient but it’s an integral part of a properly made cocktail.

“Like the characteristics of our whisky, we wanted to celebrate this simplicity, and Lister did that in style. His Please, No More Snow cocktail let the unique characteristics of this quality spirit shine through, but thanks to his creative use of ice, he created a truly innovative cocktail.”

Jon (pictured below with the whisky) will represent London in the finals, joining bartenders from Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester who won their respective regional heats.

They are James Bridges of Hausbar in Bristol, Luke Pearson of The Lost & Found in Birmingham, Adam Gray of 99 Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen and Niall McGloin of Smokestack in Leeds.

They will take part in a two-day back-to-basics “cocktail boot camp” in July in Crieff, Scotland, at the end of which the national champion will be announced.

Jon Lister

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