Funkin has named Alexandra Ulijaszek-Scott of Aqua Shard, London the winner of the 2019 Funkin Innovation Champion cocktail competition.
Following a closely fought final, Alexandra landed herself a one-year, part-time contract with Funkin Cocktails, worth up to £5,000, a trip to Bar Convent Berlin and £1,000 in cash.
To enter this year’s competition, bartenders across the UK were challenged with creating an original Funkin cocktail, taking inspiration from the 1990s, the decade the brand was launched.
Six bartenders were picked to go head-to-head in a final, which took place in London on 10 September, where they were put through several different rounds to test their skill, knowledge and creativity.
The first round saw each finalist create their Funkin cocktail, followed by a two-hour immersive session led by Stuart Bale and Rosie Mitchell of Three Sheets, London and Romeo de Wit, using the Crucible lab’s range of cutting-edge equipment.
The bartenders were also set a surprise challenge where they had ten minutes to rummage in local charity shops and spend £10 to find a prop to accompany their second original cocktail creation.
At the final, Alexandra impressed the judges with her Not a Cosmo cocktail, which featured vodka, Funkin Pro Green Apple purée, Funkin Pro Raspberry purée and Funkin Pro Hibiscus Syrup, served in a vintage martini glass.
Alexandra said: “I am so excited to have won Funkin Innovation Champion 2019 and can’t wait to use this opportunity to learn, develop and experiment my way to becoming a better bartender.”
Ben Anderson, marketing director for Funkin Cocktails, added: “Alexandra totally nailed the brief and delivered a stand-out serve which really caught the attention of the judges.
“Her confident delivery, fun personality, creativity and knowledge of the Funkin Cocktails portfolio, made her a worthy winner.”
Alexandra competed against Sam Wood of Jake’s Bar and Still Room, Leeds; Marcus Gordon of Siberia Bar & Hotel, Aberdeen; Adam Garton of Paramount, Aberdeen; Scott D’Agostino of Paramount, Aberdeen; and Kieran Harrison of Drinks Curiosities, Exeter.