Liverpool bartender Jake O’Brian Murphy is to represent the UK at the global final of the Havana Club Grand Prix in Cuba after being named national winner.
Over three days of challenges, he impressed the judges with drinks that reflected Cuban culture in a competition that seeks to find the next “classic Cuban cocktail”.
Pictured front, Jake, who works at 81 Ltd at 81 Liverpool Trading Dock, was one of seven finalists who were selected in a series of regional heats around the country, organised by the brand’s distributor Pernod Ricard UK.
Michael Foster, brand ambassador for Havana Club UK and a judge, said: “Throughout the competition, Jake used his abilities to adapt and grow with each challenge, presenting drinks which demonstrated a deep understanding of Cuban culture that stood out from the crowd.
“Jake presented himself with a certain confidence and level of ingenuity that make him an ideal candidate to represent the UK in the Global final this coming May.”
The other finalists were Dan Garnell from Happiness Forgets in London, Robin Kolek from Bar Termini in London, Euan Halliday from The Lucky Liquor Co in Edinburgh, Selina Raggett from Hawksmoor in Manchester, Reece Gibb from Her Majesty’s Secret Service in Bristol, and Iain McPherson from Panda & Sons and Hoot the Redeemer in Edinburgh.
The other judges were television chef and restaurateur Jimmy Garcia and cocktail historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller.
Adam Boita, head of marketing for Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “We are delighted the competition continues to attract the very best cocktail makers from across the UK, who are not only experts in their field but extremely passionate about their trade.
“We wish Jake the best of luck for the global final in May, which will be a fully immersive experience, entrenched in true Cuban culture.”