Ten bartenders from around the UK have been announced as finalists for Disaronno’s 2015 Mixing Star competition, with the top prize of a trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
After creating “exceptionally impressive” recipes, the judges have chosen the following to take part in the final at the Nightjar in London on June 1:
• James Bowker of The Edgbaston in Birmingham
• William Wilson of Palm Sugar Lounge in Leeds
• Joe Macbeth of Rub Smokehouse & Bar in Nottingham
• Joe Nelson of Amicus Apple in Aberdeen
• Stephen Rutherford of Orchid in Aberdeen
• Ehren Khoo-Steel of The Blind Pig on Jersey
• Simone Rossi of Aqua in London’s West End
• Giacomo Di Matteo of The Groucho Club in London
• Federico Pavan of Salvatore at Playboy in London
• Federico Gisbert Johnson of Hawksmoor Guildhall in London
They will compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of the Cocktail, the New Orleans drinks festival held every July. The competition will be a two-part process, involving peer judging as well as bartenders taking the stage one by one to showcase their serve.
The 2015 finalists were selected by a judging panel made up of Disaronno’s UK brand ambassador Rod Eslamieh, Simone Caporale of Artesian bar at London’s Langham Hotel, Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers and 2014 Mixing Star finalist Adrian Gomes of The Tippling House and 10 Dollar Shake in Aberdeen.
Rod said: “I’m proud to say that choosing our final 10 has been extremely difficult, simply because of the incredibly high standard that continues to be exceeded year after year.
“This year’s cocktails have been some of the most intricate and interesting that I’ve ever seen, whilst others are perfect in their simplicity.
“We have a fantastic spectrum of bars being represented at the final from as far south as Jersey to the northern shores of Aberdeen.
“It’s going to be a difficult one to call, but if anyone can select a worthy winner it is the esteemed panel of judges that we have lined up for this year’s final.”