Creativity challenge in literary-themed cocktail competition


Premium spirits specialist The Poshmakers has brought back its bartender competition Putting Pen To Shaker, seeking literary-inspired cocktails.

It will find two winners from the UK plus five from other parts of Europe, with a prize that includes a day of “creative mixology” at world-class bar The Gibson in London, including master classes with the bar’s founder, Marian Beke, and cocktail botanicals expert Pepe Orts.

Bartenders are asked to create a premium cocktail using a combination of at least two of the brands from The Poshmakers portfolio, which includes Ish Gin, Virgin Gorda rum, AKA Vodka and Ish Limed gin.

The drink must be given a name and personality inspired by a book which can be fact or fiction, comic or biography. The entry form and more details can be found at

The competition, now in its fourth year, is being run in partnership with Toque, the premium botanical brand from Alicante in Spain, which has Pepe as its brand ambassador.

Winners will be chosen from two finals in the UK in London on September 21 and in Manchester on October 18. There will also be finals in Alicante, Madrid, Brussels, Lisbon and Amsterdam throughout October and November.

All the winners will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to London on November 14 for an exclusive day of “creative mixology”. The winners’ cocktails will also be covered by Bar magazine and

The judges, who will be rewarding creativity, will include Pepe and Marian as well as UK bartender David Hamilton-Boyd, the winner of Putting Pen to Shaker in 2013. Others ]include award-winning Finnish bartender Greta Gronholm, Francisco Guerreiro of Portugal’s Direcção da Associação Barmen Barlavento Arade, and Ellie Baker, co-founder of The Poshmakers.

There will also be a special social media prize for the bartender who most successfully spreads the word about their cocktail by social media, using the cocktail recipe, brands and botanicals used in the competition, with #puttingpentoshaker or #creativemixologycontest.

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