A cocktail combining white chocolate, orange blossom, mint and blue butterfly pea with gin helped bartender Maxim Schulte win this year’s global final of the Beefeater MIXLDN competition.
Representing Hong Kong and Macau, he came out top out of 31 national winners from around the world, including the UK, across four challenges over four days in London last week.
Maxim, who is originally from Germany and became bar and lounge manager at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Macau, served his cocktail, Stack of Fortune, with customised casino chips on the side, inspired by Macau’s reputation as the Las Vegas of Asia.
It was made with Beefeater 24 gin, white crème de cacao liqueur, his own bitter orange blossom sherbet, orange bitters, fresh mint and fresh lime plus soda infused with blue butterfly pea, garnished with fresh mint, an orange twist and a bamboo stirring spoon. See below for the full recipe.
Alongside Maxim, the top six on the final day included the UK’s national winner, Alex Walker of The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy hotel in London. Click here for details of his cocktail.
The judges for the final, held at The Bike Shed in Shoreditch, were Beefeater Gin’s master distiller Desmond Payne, bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana of Dandelyan and Cub in London, bartender Alessandro Palazzi of Dukes Bar at Dukes London hotel, Difford’s Guide editor Simon Difford, and Beefeater global brand ambassador Sumaiyah Connolly.
They reported that Maxim consistently delivered throughout the competition, particularly impressing them with his “flair and tenacity”.
He will now have an opportunity to work with Desmond to create his own gin at the Beefeater distillery in Kennington, London, learning about the craft of making gin from Desmond’s 50 years in the industry.
His limited-edition gin will be available at the distillery for visitors from all over the world to buy, and Maxim will have bottles to take home.
He said: “Being named as the global champion of Beefeater MIXLDN is a real honour and definitely a highlight in my career. Every bartender wants to show what they can do in terms of cocktail-making as an art form and Beefeater MIXLDN really allowed me to do that.
“Stack of Fortune was inspired by Macau’s reputation as the Las Vegas of Asia and it’s certainly brought me good luck. I’ve already got some ideas up my sleeve for my limited-edition gin and I’m looking forward to being able to learn from a legend like Desmond Payne.”
Desmond added: “This year’s Beefeater MIXLDN experience has hugely impressed me. The creativity amongst bartenders today is second to none and it reflects the broader trend we’re seeing that every cocktail has its own narrative and story – also discussed in our recent report, ‘Cocktails: The New Golden Era’.
“Passion like this continues to drive the industry forward and the profession of bartending is being seen in a new light. I congratulate Maxim for being in the vanguard of this movement that has flourished in my 50 years. He has set the bar high for next year’s competition.”
Stack of Fortune by Maxim Schulte
45ml Beefeater 24
15ml Fresh lime
15ml White crème de cacao
15ml Homemade bitter orange blossom sherbet
2dsh Orange bitters
1hand Fresh mint
Butterfly pea soda
Put all the ingredients except the soda in a highball glass and half-fill with crushed ice. Swizzle until the glass gets frosted outside. Top with crushed ice, garnish and float the blue butterfly pea soda on top. Garnish with a bamboo stirring spoon, fresh mint and orange twist – plus casino chips on the side.