Bartenders are being challenged to create a cocktail inspired by their home town using Southern Comfort for a chance to win a trip to New Orleans.
Now in its third year in the UK, the Southern Comfort Southern Showdown will feature regional heats across the country, culminating in a winner and two runners-up going to the brand’s home city in July.
As part of the VIP trip, all the bartenders will attend the Tales of the Cocktail festival while the UK winner will take on national winners from Ireland and Australia in a grand finale.
The challenge is to recreate the spirit of their home town in a cocktail, just as Southern Comfort captures the spirit of its home city, New Orleans.
Each cocktail will need to include the bartender’s choice of either Southern Comfort Original, Southern Comfort Black or Southern Comfort 100.
In the spirit of Southern Comfort’s creator, New Orleans bartender MW Heron, entrants are also encouraged to use ingredients that are bespoke and local to them.
Distributor Hi-Spirits will hold six regional finals in April and May. Entries will be judged on the uniqueness, imagination and consumer appeal of each cocktail, with eight cocktails showcased in each of the regional finals in Scotland, in the north, in the Midlands, on the south coast, in London West and in London East.
The winner from each region will compete head-to-head at the Southern Showdown national final in May, held in true Mississippi style on the Dixie Queen riverboat on the Thames.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “The Southern Showdown is bigger and better than ever this year. The imagination, knowledge and flair shown by our finalists in the first two years was amazing, and with the stakes even higher this year we’re expecting to hit new heights.
“The fact that entrants now have the choice of both Southern Comfort Black and Southern Comfort 100 alongside Southern Comfort Original gives them a wider range of flavour profiles to work with.”
The Southern Comfort line-up in the UK now features the 50% ABV variant 100 Proof as well as Black, which dials up the flavours with a robust whiskey-forward profile and subtle spice and fruity accents.
The closing date for initial entries for each region is March 30. Entries can be submitted online at https://southernshowdown.southerncomfort.com/uk/ where full terms and conditions are also available.