Nottingham bartender wins Wild Turkey competition

henry yates wild turkeyHenry Yates (pictured) of Nottingham’s new cocktail bar Boilermaker has been announced as winner of the first UK cocktail competition for Wild Turkey bourbon.

His cocktail, The Right To Freeze Peach, combined the Wild Turkey 81 with peach liqueur and peach syrup as well as iced black tea, with a sprig of mint.

The competition was held at the headquarters of bar consultancy The Liquorists HQ in Manchester last week, judged by Wild Turkey’s UK brand ambassador Martin Taylor, Simon Difford of Diffordsguide and Hugo Mills, UK country director of brand owner Gruppo Campari.

Henry said: “My inspiration for the peach, ice tea and mint cocktail originated from Wild Turkey country. I wanted to create a cocktail with ingredients which are readily available, as an introduction to bourbon.”

He faced 10 other regional winners from across the UK. The two runners-up were Will Cox of The Bon Vivant in Thistle Street, Edinburgh, and Michael Presley Sharpe of The Milk Thistle in Bristol.

All three will head to Kentucky on an all-expenses-paid trip, visiting the Wild Turkey distillery, meeting master distiller Jimmy Russell and his son, associate master distiller Eddie Russell, and attending September’s annual National Bourbon Festival.

As overall winner, Henry will be presented with a bottle of Wild Turkey Forgiven, a high-end bourbon and rye blend signed by Jimmy and Eddie.

Eddie launched the competition during his tour of the UK in July, which saw him travel from the Wild Turkey distillery in Kentucky to present master classes in six cities across the country.

Seeking the best whiskey bartender in the country, the competition received hundreds of entries from across the UK. Entrants then competed in regional heats in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and London.

They were challenged to make two drinks: a signature cocktail of their choice as well as a twist on a classic cocktail. They were given five minutes’ preparation time followed by up to 10 minutes to make, perfect and present their creations to the judges.

Henry’s twist on a classic was based on a Boulevardier, called Blood on the Boulevard. His two winning recipes plus the original cocktail recipes from Will and Michael are listed below.

The other national finalists were Rosie Paterson of The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, Benji Purslow of Archer Street in London, Nicholas Quattroville of Social Eating House in London, Ed Belshaw of World Service in Nottingham, Lucy Jane Horncastle of The Victoria in Birmingham, Laurie Eaton of Berry & Rye in Liverpool ,Tim Laferla of Mr Cooper’s House & Garden at The Midland Hotel in Manchester, and Jamie Jones of The Liquorists.

The Right to Freeze Peach

The Right to Freeze Peach by Henry Yates

50ml Wild Turkey 81
10ml Crème de pêche
20ml Peach syrup (canned)
10ml Lemon juice
100ml Iced black tea (Chinese)
6 drops of Grapefruit bitters

Shake over ice, strain and serve in an empty peach tin can with a sprig of mint and garnish with a Wild Turkey 101 atomised peach slice.

Blood on the Boulevard by Henry Yates

30ml Wild Turkey 101
30ml Cocci Americano
20ml Aperol
30ml Tangerine juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-stain into a small bottle placed in ice-filled mini ice bucket (small shaker tin). No garnish.

Stuffed Turkey by Will Cox

50ml Wild Turkey 101
10ml Yellow Chartreuse
10ml Apricot liqueur
2 dashes Celery bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with an orange zest twist.

Feather of the Fowl (Hair of the Dog) by Michael Presley Sharpe

2 fresh Cherry tomatoes
50ml Wild Turkey 101
20ml Cocchi Americano
20ml Apricot liqueur
10ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Celery bitters

Muddle the tomatoes in the base of the shaker, add other ingredients, shake with ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.

Previous Maclay opens first venue in Glasgow's city centre
Next Wholesale group expands with on-trade members