An Asian twist on a classic led Eliott Chapman (pictured) from Blind Tiger in Liverpool to win the inaugural North West Negroni Knockout.
His drink, Reversal of Fortune (pictured below), used Akashi-Tai Shiraume umeshu plum sake and homemade plum and green tea bitters, mixed with Beefeater 24 gin and Campari. It was stirred down and garnished with a fortune cookie and fruit.
The North West Negroni Knockout was held as part of the Winter Tasting Event run by leading independent wines and spirits wholesaler Hammonds of Knutsford in Manchester this week.
Eliott was one of 10 bartenders from across the north-west to take part in the competition which challenged them to come up with a creative spin on a Negroni but with no specifications on brands used.
It was run in a similar style to a football world cup championship with the bartenders split into two groups of five. The top two from each group went through to the final stage where the remaining four competed against each other.
Alongside Eliott, the other three in the final stage were all from Manchester bars: Joe White from Gorilla, Peter Stocker from Common and Alex Montrose from Cloud 23.
Elliot has won the overall prize of a week in Florence in Italy – the home of the Negroni – donated by the team at Hammonds of Knutsford.
The three judges were bartender Massimo Zitti from Cane and Grain in Manchester, David Ray who is “bar guru” at bar and restaurant group Living Ventures, and bartender and consultant Jamie Jones.
Tim Dunlop, business development executive at Hammonds of Knutsford, said: “It was a superb event with plenty of fun being had by the competitors, judges and spectators. Plans are already afoot for the 2016 Knockout with Eliott hoping to be back to defend his title.”
Pictured: David Ray, Tim Dunlop, Jamie Jones, Massimo Zitti, Eliott Chapman and compere Scott Hawkins