No 3 Gin has announced the finalists of its annual cocktail tournament Unlock Taste, following a series of competitive regional heats across the UK.
The latest round of this year’s challenge saw 12 UK bartenders in each region battle it out to create a modern twist on the iconic 20th Century Cocktail using No 3 Gin.
Each bartender’s recipe sought to combine ingredients that hero the gin’s quintessential style and embrace the spirit of Unlock Taste – a platform to elevate gin serves using intriguing flavour combinations.
The five finalists, whose wit, knowledge and bartending prowess were tested when presenting their reimagined 20th Century Cocktail recipes to the panel of judges automatically qualify for the National Final at No 3 St James’s Street on 21 May.
The regional winners are as follows:
Scotland: Jeffrey Berraoui of The Tippling House
Cocktail: The Last Century
Northern England: Tom Kirk of Below Stairs
Cocktail: 30th Century Man
Southern England: Harry Cosmo Boardman of Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Cocktail: Cross Country
London (1): Krystian Kropaczewski of Artesian, The Langham
Cocktail: Lab Ltd
London (2): Will Campbell-Rowntree of Artesian, The Langham
Cocktail: Gentleman’s Journey
In an added twist to the competition, the runner-up from each region, known as the “wildcard”, has been invited to spend a night in London and attend an exclusive reception the evening before the final.
At the reception, they will present an apéritif drink to compete for one remaining place, bringing the total number of challengers at the final to six – symbolic of the six botanicals comprising No 3.
The five regional runners-up who will contest the sixth spot are Scotland’s Daniel Elphinstone of Orchid, Shaun Hall of Vice & Co from North England, Tom Hay-Owens of The Venner from South England, and London’s Stephan Pohlod of The Coral Room, The Bloomsbury Hotel and Mike Robinson of Mash.
Richard Gillam, No 3 Gin UK brand ambassador, said: “We were absolutely thrilled with the level of creativity, skill and passion that this year’s challengers brought to the regional heats of the No 3 National Cocktail Tournament.
“Each concoction is a testament to the innovative, magnetic cocktail scene that we have here in the UK, and we can’t wait to see how the contestants make use of No 3’s versatility to take the competition to the next level in the final rounds. Bring it on!”
The overall winner of the three-part competition will not only be jetting off to Hong Kong with £200 spending money, but will have the opportunity to take on a much sought-after guest shift at one of the world’s top 50 bars.