Dimi Savvaidis from the King of Islington in Dundee has been crowned the UK winner of the 2018 Monin Cup.
The final of the bi-annual bartender competition was hosted by Monin on 24 September at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen.
Now in its third year, the competition sets out to celebrate and champion young professional bartenders from across the UK, challenging them to ‘Mix Their Origins’ to demonstrate creative genius behind the bar as well as showmanship.
Sixty-four bartenders battled it out through nationwide regional heats, with six talented bartenders making it through to the final, which was judged by Difford’s Guide CEO Simon Difford, Gennaro Pelliccia, Costa’s master of coffee, and Rui Cesar Texeira, co-owner of Stallion Spirits.
The bartenders had to “reflect their own story”, using Monin products to help create their two signature cocktails. Both their standard and no-ABV serves carried equal weighting with judging to reflect the current direction of the industry.
Dimi impressed the judging panel with his Cliff Diver cocktail and King’s Mai Tai no-ABV serve (both pictured below).
Dimi started bartending at 17 in Greece. After two years, he moved on to travel across the world, during which time he discovered Sydney’s Cocktail bar scene where he found his passion and drive for the industry. He then went to on move to Scotland to explore his Scottish heritage.
The Dundee-based bartender was crowned UK Champion and will now go on to become a Monin brand ambassador and represent the UK in the Monin Cup International Final in Paris this December. Dimi will also enjoy a trip to the Berlin Bar Convent later this year.
The unanimous win for Dimi came with great praise from the judges who commented on his “sharp technical ability, creativity using Oak aged Irn-Bru in his no-ABV drink along with his excellent interaction and showmanship.”
Dimi said: “I think this will take a while to sink in! I am shocked, excited and proud to be working with Monin. The heritage and history of Monin along with the philosophy of serving quality consistently is my mantra to my work.”
Special commendation also went to Amie Smith of the Faraway Cocktail Club in Bristol, a close run second. The judges remarked on her “excellent creativity and poise” at The Monin Cup UK final.
Dan Davis, trade brand ambassador for Monin UK, said: “We’ve seen some exceptional talent at this year’s Monin Cup, with our young UK bartenders pushing the boundaries of flavour combinations and inventive serves.
“The judges were on the lookout for colour, appearance, garnishes, aroma, balance, taste and originality and were extremely impressed by the quality of the entrants this year. The judges also awarded marks for showmanship, cleanliness and skills of the bartenders, all of which are a crucial part of serving a cocktail.
The Monin Cup continues to be a fantastic opportunity for young bartenders to raise their profile in the UK and offers them the chance to show off their skills, recipes and concepts with bartenders on a global scale.”