Rhuby inspires first UK all-female bartender competition

Naomi Fletcher (pictured) from Hawksmoor Spitalfields in London has won the UK’s first all-female bartender competition run by Swedish rhubarb liqueur Rhuby.

She mixed the all-natural liqueur with tequila, vanilla syrup, Angostura Bitters, an egg and lemon zest to create a Flip-style cocktail called Flip It Twice.

She faced six other finalists from across the UK to win the Pink Your Drink competition held at London Cocktail Club in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. The judges included Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, founders of the established US all-female Speed-Rack bartender competitions.

The runner-up was Elsa Holmberg of Brass Monkey in Nottingham who mixed Rhuby with hibiscus-infused pisco, lemon juice, pink muscat wine and black pepper bitters to create the Rhuffles cocktail.

The judges praised the creativity, passion and knowledge of all the finalists at the competition. The others were Ash Bovey from Sahara in Reading, Jolene Cadwell from Papaji’s in Bristol, Isabella Newman from Circo in Bath, Rosie Paterson from The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh, and Dee Ann Quinones from 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington, north London. All their recipes are below.

Ylva Binder, creator of Rhuby and another of the judges, said the finalists showed “passion, great skill and above all else, innovation and original thinking”. The other judge was Solveig Sommarström, master distiller for Rhuby, over from Sweden.

The competition helped to raise money and awareness for Ylva’s Pink Your Drink initiative which raises money for the charitable Pink Ribbon Foundation, which funds projects to help women with breast cancer.

Naomi was praised for her “contagious energy and British wit behind the bar”. The judges said her cocktails demonstrated “in-depth classic bartending skill, along with outstanding product knowledge and general cocktail history”. Her original “Flip It Twice” Rhuby cocktail (pictured right) was described as proving her phenomenal ability to balance complex flavours with meticulous precision.

Flip It Twice by Naomi Fletcher

50ml Rhuby Liqueur
25ml Arette Blanco tequila
10ml Vanilla syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Whole egg
Small piece of lemon zest
Garnish: Grated nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients in a Boston tin and dry-shake first without ice, then again with ice. Double-strain into a chilled Sours glass and serve straight up. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Rhuffles by Elsa Holmberg (pictured right)

35ml Rhuby Liqueur
20ml Hibiscus-infused Aba pisco
20ml Lemon juice
30ml Pink muscat wine
6 drops Black pepper bitters
Garnish: preserved hibiscus flower, mint sprig and cherry preserved in dessert wine

Shake all the ingredients with ice in a shaker, then strain into a wine goblet. Add cubed and crushed ice, garnish with a preserved hibiscus flower, mint sprig and cherry (preferably a cherry preserved in dessert wine). To infuse the pisco, take 25g of dried hibiscus flowers per 100ml of pisco and infuse for 10 minutes, and then strain and bottle.

Pink Titicaca by Dee Ann Quinones

50ml Pisco
15ml Rhuby Liqueur
5ml Gomme
25ml Lime juice
3 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
Grapefruit zest
Garnish: Lime twist

Combine all the ingredients except the grapefruit zest and lime twist in a shaker, shake vigourously and double-strain into a large coupette. Zest the grapefruit over the drink, then discard it. Garnish with a lime twist.

All Things Nice by Jolene Cadwell

50ml Rhuby Liqueur
25ml Green Island Spiced Rum
25ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
10ml “Pinked” cinnamon sugar syrup
50ml Prosecco
Crushed Rhubarb & Custard sweets

Add all the ingredients except the prosecco and sweets to a Boston glass. Fill with ice and give a quick hard shake to chill and mix with minimal dilution. Double-strain into a cocktail glass, with a rim of crushed Rhubarb & Custard sweets. Top up with prosecco. Serve with Rhubarb & Custard sweets.

Autumnus by Isabella Newman

37.5ml Rhuby Liqueur
5ml Fernet Branca
5ml Cherry Marnier
15ml Dark agave nectar
25ml Lemon juice
2 drops of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
Garnish: 2 dried lavender sprigs

Shake ingredients except the lavender sprigs and serve in a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with the lavender sprigs.

15 Fronwen by Ash Bovey

1.5oz Rhuby Liqueur
1.5oz Koko Kanu coconut rum
0.25oz Aperol
0.25oz fresh lemon juice
4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1 Egg white
Garnish: Rhubarb slice and grapefruit spray

Shake all the ingredients with ice and then fine-strain and finish with a hard dry shake. Pour gently into a chilled coupe and garnish with a rhubarb and grapefruit spray. With Ylva inspired by her childhood to create a rhubarb liqueur, Ash’s cocktail name is inspired by her childhood memories at her grandmother’s home in Fronwen Terrace.

I’ll Fizz Your Rhubarb by Rosie Paterson

Coating of cinnamon-infused rye whisky
12.5ml Fresh lemon juice
25ml Rhuby Liqueur
25ml Plymouth Gin
2.5ml Gomme
Rosé champagne
Garnish: Slice of fresh rhubarb

Coat a champagne flute with a cinnamon-infused rye, made by leaving cinnamon sticks in rye to soak, which makes them almost act as bitters. Leave the glass to chill and shake the other liquids and fine-strain into the coated float. Top up with pink champagne. Garnish with a slice of fresh rhubarb dipped into cinnamon sugar and caramelised with a blow torch.

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