Food and cocktail pairing challenge offers prize of Moscow trip

moskovskaya vodka

Bartenders from around the UK have the chance to win a trip to the Moscow Bar Show in a cocktail competition for Moskovskaya Vodka.

It is calling on them to create an innovative signature serve but will also test finalists’ food-matching ability, with the top four competitors asked to create a dinner cocktail to pair with classic Russian cuisine.

Bartenders have until April 3 to submit their recipe for a signature cocktail that needs to have the potential to be rolled out nationally and featured as a signature serve in bars stocking the brand.

The competition is organised by Hi-Spirits, UK distributor for the vodka which was originally produced in Moscow and is still distilled to a Russian recipe using traditional methods, although now made in Latvia.

The new regional competition follows a London competition for Moskovskaya in November that was won by Pie Panah with an aperitif combinining the vodka with Becherovka, Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Gin and a few drops of Chartreuse Elixir (pictured). Click here for a report.

A judging panel will select finalists from each of the regions and visit their venues to see the cocktail being made. Winners will then be selected and invited to a final to be held in Manchester.

The finalists will be asked not only to make their signature serve for the judges, but also their dinner cocktail to complement the menu.

The ultimate winner will join a VIP trip to the Moscow Bar Show in September, accompanying Pie Panah. There is also a £150 second prize.

Dan Bolton, Hi-Spirits managing director and chair of the judging panel, said: “In Russia, vodka is a traditional accompaniment to food as well as an aperitif, and the competition celebrates that link.

“The competitors came up with some imaginative drinks that respected this tradition while also pushing the envelope in terms of cocktail innovation.

“With some of the UK’s most innovative cocktail culture taking place outside London, we’re delighted that the second stage of our Moskovskaya competition will see our judges travel the length and breadth of Britain, from Plymouth to Nottingham and Edinburgh to Brighton.”

Moskovskaya is owned by SPI Spirits, whose portfolio also includes the Stolichnaya vodka brand. Dan added: “Moskovskaya is an authentic, traditional vodka that has real credibility with bartenders, as well as operators and customers.”

ntries can be submitted at which also has details of the full terms and conditions of the competition.

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