Edinburgh bartender wins trip to Kentucky with Maker’s Mark

makers mark finalists amanda

Tim Pryde from The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh is off to Kentucky with Maker’s Mark after winning a competition inspired by treasured barware.

His prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Loretto in Kentucky, home of Maker’s Mark bourbon, to experience how the whiskey is made at first hand.

The competition was part of Maker’s Mark Bartender Trove which called on bartenders to present their most treasured barware and tools at an exhibition in London.

At the final at MASH in London’s West End, four finalists were challenged to use their precious object to create a new Maker’s Mark cocktail. They were given an £80 budget to scour Soho for extraordinary ingredients that would complement the bourbon in their drink.

Tim went to Chinatown to pick up some umeshu, the Japanese liqueur made from steeping ume fruits in alcohol and sugar, to create Japanese-inspired cocktail, Hanakotoba Punch, served in his ceramic shisa cup from Okinawa, Japan.

The other finalists were all from London: Chris Lacey of Rules, Rusty Cerven of The Connaught and Michal Buben, formerly of NinetyEight Bar and Lounge.

Rusty returned with an array of objects including a dozen quail eggs and a bag of giant cinnamon sticks, which he used to create a twist on a Tom and Jerry, served warm and made in his ornamental samovar bought in Moscow.

Chris headed to drinks store Gerry’s in Old Compton Street to pick up a bottle of Byrrh Grand Quinquina, a wine-based aperitif with no added sugar, to create a smoky Maker’s Mark cocktail using his Gorham Sterling 1950s Martini Spike vermouth dispenser.

Michal sourced ingredients including cumquats, yuzu and lapsang souchong tea to create his cocktail that was garnished with green tea cookies and incorporated the use of his Reed & Barton sterling silver jigger.

The activity was developed by distributor Maxxium UK to reflect the craftsmanship that goes into the production of Maker’s Mark, from the hands-on 19-barrel production process to the inclusion of red winter wheat, which results in a smoother bourbon.

The four finalists were chosen after the exhibition was held at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in the creative quarter of Clerkenwell in June. On display was an impressive array of vintage and antique items and unusual and precious possessions used by bartenders when creating the unique Maker’s Mark serves submitted as part of their entry into the Trove.

Judges included Maxxium UK’s Mixxit manager Amanda Humphrey, Maxxium UK’s Rebecca Tinson and BarLifeUK’s Simon Webster.

Amanda said: “The Maker’s Mark Bartender Trove provided the perfect platform to inspire bartenders to get creative with this iconic and coveted bourbon.

“The competition challenged our finalists to think on their feet, incorporating unusual and precious ingredients while keeping Maker’s Mark at the heart of their creations.

“Each cocktail captivated the judges and demonstrated a unique and creative take on the brief, making the final decision a very difficult one.

“In the end it was Tim’s collection of ingredients and story behind his shisa cup that won us over. We are delighted to reward his efforts and craft for bartending with a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery.”

Martin Scott of Twenty Princess Street in Edinburgh was originally selected as a finalist but he had to withdraw from the competition due to work obligations.

Pictured top are Chris Lacey, Rusty Cerven, Amanda Humphrey, Michael Buben and Tim Pryde.

Hanakotoba Punch by Tim Pryde
60ml Maker’s Mark
30ml Umeshu
90ml Hibiscus blossom cordial*
Build in a shisa over rocks ice. Top with more ice and sparkling mineral water. Garnish with a pink rose.

*Recipe for hibiscus blossom cordial:
400ml Hibiscus tea (infuse dry tea in twice as much water for one hour)
40ml Rose water
40ml Crème de violette
10ml Orange blossom water
100ml Caster sugar
Mix together until sugar dissolves.

Hunt a Trove by Rusty Cerven
700ml Maker’s Mark
12 quail eggs
1 litre of warm spiced almond milk
200ml Becherovka
Grated cinnamon
Beat egg white and yolk separately, combine together and add bourbon. Add Becherovka. Heat up but do not boil. Add spiced almond milk and carefully add to the punch. Mix well and grate cinnamon on top. Garnish with a giant cinnamon stick, sprayed with golden chocolate.

Loretto Smoke House by Chris Lacey
60ml Maker’s Mark
15ml Cynar
15ml Byrrh Grand Quinquina
1 drop of hickory liquid smoke
Stir and strain. Serve strain up. Garnish with a lemon twist and pulled pork sandwich.

Chinese Date by Michal Buben
50ml Maker’s Mark
4 cumquats
10ml Yuzu
20ml Lapsang souchong tea
20ml Honey
Egg white
Dry shake, wet shake, double strain and serve in a tea cup. Garnish with green tea cookies.

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