Leeds bartender wins whisky’s ‘boomerang’ cocktail challenge

Lady Pulteney

A bartender from Leeds has won a competition with Old Pulteney single malt whisky inspired by the tradition of “boomerang” cocktails shared between bars.

Rohan Sookloll from Smokestack in Leeds won the Old Pulteney Northern Navigator Competition in a final featuring bartenders from across the north including Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne.

The competition was based on the concept of a “boomerang cocktail” – a tradition that began in New York City’s East Village where a bar prepares a cocktail and then transports it to other bars with instructions on how to serve it.

To enter the Old Pulteney competition, bartenders were invited to submit a written cocktail creation that included 35ml of Old Pulteney Navigator among other ingredients of their choice. The best were chosen by the Old Pulteney team and transported to participating bars in other cities for judging.

Rohan won with a cocktail, Lady Pulteney (pictured), that combined Old Pulteney Navigator scotch with apple liqueur, elderflower cordial, dry vermouth, egg white and Peychaud’s Bitters.

Four finalists were invited to the Pulteney distillery in Wick in Scotland to compete head to head in front of a panel consisting of Old Pulteney global brand manager Margaret Mary Clarke, Andy Gemmell of drinks consultancy The Drink Cabinet, and renowned Manchester-based chef Aiden Byrne.

Margaret said: “The innovative ideas behind the finalists’ cocktails were outstanding and perfectly tied in with Old Pulteney’s rich maritime heritage.

“Rohan’s winning cocktail was not only delicious but also inventive and an excellent use of our much-loved Navigator expression.

“Urban food and drink communities are thriving, and yet fine malt whisky is still a relatively unknown quantity. Our goal is to present a fresh new side to Old Pulteney, introducing drinkers to the wonders of our whisky. It’s set to be a really exciting year.”

Lady Pulteney by Rohan Sookloll
40ml Old Pulteney Navigator single malt scotch whisky
10ml Briottet Manzana Verde apple liqueur
15ml Elderflower cordial
20ml Dolin dry vermouth
1 Egg white
Dry shake without ice, shake again with ice, dry shake again and double-strain into a coupette. Garnish with three drops of Peychaud’s Bitters.

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