Hamish Smith of Jake’s Bar & Still in Leeds created cocktails using pisco, umeshu plum sake and cognac to win a trip to Amsterdam with Double Dutch Drinks.
He was one of four bartenders to take part in the final of Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, held on the second day of the trade show in Manchester last week.
Entrants were challenged to create two drinks, one for summer, one for winter, containing any of the current Double Dutch Drinks range of mixers and drawing on the brand’s Dutch heritage.
Hamish’s summer cocktail, Cool As Cucumber, Cold As Chile (pictured above), saw him twist a cucumber ribbon around the inside of a highball glass and fill it with frozen white grapes. He added Waqar Chilean Pisco and St-Germain elderflower liqueur and topped it with Double Dutch Cucumber and Watermelon plus a cucumber rose to garnish.
His winter serve, the Ume Kiss (pictured below), featured an ice block filled with pomegranate seeds placed within a glass, topped with a combination of Rémy Martin cognac, umeshu plum sake and plum bitters. Double Dutch Basil and Pomegranate was poured over and it was garnished with a dehydrated pomegranate slice.
The four finalists were chosen by a blind judging panel of drinks experts including Double Dutch founders Joyce and Raissa de Haas.
The other three bartenders were Mycol Cavalieri from Coco Tang in Nottingham, Leah Jones from Mr Cooper’s in Manchester and Thomas O’Connor from Silversmiths Restaurant in Sheffield.
Hamish will visit Amsterdam later in the year as the guest of Double Dutch Drinks, including visits to the city’s bars and restaurants.