Prohibition inspires bartenders in Brighton competition

Jim Turner of Brighton Rocks with Legless Senator cocktailBartenders in Brighton created new cocktails celebrating the age of Prohibition in a competition run for Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

At the event at Above Audio bar in the city, eight bartenders were briefed to create a Prohibition-style cocktail using the whiskey. The Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky was one of a handful allowed to continue making bourbon during Prohibition as it could be prescribed “medicinally”.

First place in the competition went to Jim Turner (pictured), bartender at Brighton Rocks. The name of his drink, the Legless Senator, recalls the fact that even the highest officials in the US enjoyed the occasional tipple during Prohibition.

Jim now moves on to the grand final later in the year, which will see winning bartenders from regional heats around the UK battle it out for a trip to the distillery in Kentucky.

In second place was Scott Hasselton of Above Audio with his cocktail, the 18th Amendment, and in third was Alan Coulter of La Maison Du Vin with the Buffalo Food.

Tom Hodgkiss, Brighton representative of Buffalo Trace UK distributor Hi-Spirits, said: “Cocktails had to be very simple during Prohibition because customers didn’t know how long they had to finish their drink.

“We asked for simple recipes, but that didn’t stop the competitors from showing a great deal of flair and imagination.”

Also taking part were Jack Tavare of the Bath Arms, Nicky Goldsmith of Above Audio, Will Underwood of Valentino’s, Joseph Vidol of Bellham House in Lewes, and Francois Monin of Lucky Voice.

The Brighton competition follows the success of the Buffalo Bourbon Empire speakeasy-style pop-up bar at the Wick Inn in Hove, which opened in February.

The three winning drinks in the Brighton heat were:

The Legless Senator by Jim Turner
50ml Buffalo Trace
20ml Apricot brandy
5ml Port
1 dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
Served in a genever-washed glass, stirred, with an orange snap over the top to garnish.

The 18th Amendment by Scott Hasselton
50ml Buffalo Trace
12.5ml Banana syrup
1 dash of orange bitters
20ml Lemon juice
1 splash of egg white
Served in a frosted teacup and saucer, with banana/chocolate toffee on the side.

The Buffalo Food by Alan Coulter
50ml Buffalo Trace
25ml Périque Liqueur de Tabac
1 dash of Angostura Bitters
Fresh rosemary

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