Southern Comfort challenges bartenders with prize of New Orleans trip

The Gambit

Bartenders are being challenged to create a new twist on a classic New Orleans cocktail with Southern Comfort – with the prize of a VIP trip to New Orleans.

Distributor Hi-Spirits has brought back its Southern Showdown cocktail competition, calling on bartenders across the UK to submit their recipes online before the deadline of June 16.

Cocktails must contain at least 35ml of Southern Comfort and take inspiration from New Orleans – the birthplace of Southern Comfort – and from the cocktails that the city is famous for.

The best entries will be invited to take part in one of six regional Southern Showdown heats to be held in cities throughout the UK in July.

The regional winners will then compete at the Southern Showdown Grand Final in London on August 2 for places on the trip to New Orleans.

Entrants will be able to earn bonus points in the run-up to the regional showdowns by using social media, including photos and video content, to show how the spirit of New Orleans has inspired their cocktail.

The competition is open to anyone working at a UK bar stocking the brand. Entrants submit their recipe at, where full terms and conditions for the competition are available.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “From the Sazerac to the Hurricane, there are so many signature cocktails from New Orleans. They have all played their part in crafting the city’s vibrant cocktail scene and are part of every bartender’s toolkit.

“We were delighted with the craft and ingenuity shown by entrants last year, and we’re once again asking UK bartenders to capture the Spirit of New Orleans in the heart and soul of their drink.”

The 2016 Southern Showdown victor was Christian Tirel of the Last Chance Saloon in Nottingham, whose winning cocktail was The Gambit (pictured). Click here for his recipe.

He said: “New Orleans is a place that I had been wanting to visit for a long time. The absolute highlight was getting to go with the people that I did, as well as making some awesome friends in New Orleans too.

“The opportunity has been great for both me and my bar, thanks to the publicity campaign that featured each of the regional winners, and of course the magazine article on my prize.

“Since winning I have been asked to help with developing drinks strategies, conduct training sessions and help with photoshoots. This is all fantastic experience to add to my CV and makes entering well worthwhile.”

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