Joe Ballinger from Liverpool bar Berry & Rye has been chosen to represent the UK in the global finals of the 2016 Beefeater MIXLDN Cocktail Competition.
He won the UK final in early October with his cocktail On Holiday By Mistake (pictured), impressing the judges with what they described as “a masterclass in creating the perfect gin serve”.
He was deemed to have best echoed this year’s theme of iconic London cinema with his recipe using Beefeater 24 and inspired by the film, Withnail and I.
The scene where Withnail orders “two large gins, two pints of cider” was used by Joe as inspiration for a twist on a Corpse Reviver #2, using cider syrup and cider vinegar as well as a pineau des Charentes and absinthe. It takes its name from another line spoken by Withnail.
As part of a four-day trip to London, Joe will join the other global finalists to undertake a series of challenges for the global finals in February next year.
Beefeater global brand ambassador Tim Stones said: “We’re now in the sixth year of Beefeater MIXLDN, and the competition keeps getting tougher every year.
“The standard of bartending in the London local final was incredibly high, but in the end the judges were won over by Joe’s offering – which particularly stood out.
“They were impressed with the overall creativity and unique layering of complex flavours – his unusual take on a Beefeater 24 gin cocktail was very memorable, and the link with Withnail and I tied in well with our London cinema theme. We’re looking forward to seeing what he brings to the global final in February.”
The winner of the title of Beefeater MIXLDN 2016 Global Bartender Champion will be mentored by experts as part of the Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador Programme. After in-depth one-to-one training at Beefeater: The Home of Gin in London, the global champion will represent Beefeater at exclusive events in their geographic region and travel to some of the world’s most prestigious bartender events like the Moscow Bar Show and Bar Convent in Berlin.
For the first time, the winner of this year’s global competition will also craft their own limited-edition Beefeater gin with master distiller Desmond Payne at the distillery in Kennington in south London.
Desmond said: “Having the opportunity to collaborate with this year’s global winner is something we have wanted to do for quite some time, giving us the opportunity to work with a bartender at the top of their game in distilling a gin specifically aimed at the cocktail community.
“As a brand that is constantly looking to innovate, we are always looking for fresh ideas and relish the chance to invest time with people that can help us push the boundaries and take a fresh approach – as we continue in our mission to create the ultimate premium product.”
On Holiday By Mistake
50ml Beefeater 24
10ml Pineau des Charentes
15ml Cider syrup
6 dashes Cider vinegar
6 dashes Pernod Absinthe
1.75mg Citric acid
Chill glass with crushed ice and rinse with 6 dashes of absinthe. Add all the ingredients to a small Boston tin, add cubed ice and cover with a larger Boston tin. Shake drink, remove crushed ice from glass and strain in, garnish.