Stephenson wins UK Angostura Bitters final


Renowned mixologist Jamie Stephenson (pictured) triumphed over some of the best bartenders in the UK to win the UK heat of the 2013 Angostura Aromatic Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge.

The 39-year-old will head to Port of Spain, Trinidad, in February next year to represent the UK in the Global Cocktail Challenge alongside 12 other finalists from around the world including India, New Zealand, Russia and South America. [See update at end of this report.]

Second place went to Elliot Ball, bar manager at Shaker and Company in Camden, London, while third place went to Máté Csatlós, who works at China Tang at The Dorchester in London.

They were among 12 bartenders who took part in the UK heat at The Club at The Ivy in London last week during London Cocktail Week. Compered by global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, it was judged by last year’s global winner David Delaney Jnr of Citizen in Boston, Peter Holland from rum blog The Floating Rum Shack, and Mark Ludmon, editor of Bar magazine.

Jamie, who was most recently running Fluid Bars’ pop-up Dock Bar in Salford’s MediaCityUK piazza, is hoping to reclaim his title after winning the final of the Global Cocktail Challenge in 2008.

He said: “This is a great achievement for me and it was a fantastic experience competing against everyone in the final. To win this amazing opportunity for the second time is a dream come true and I’m really looking forward to flying out to Trinidad to try and reclaim my former title as Global Champion.”

Now in its sixth year, the highly anticipated contest gave bartenders from across the UK the chance to showcase their talents by creating two unique cocktails using Angostura Aromatic Bitters.

To enter, they had to create an original cocktail recipe with a minimum of five dashes of the bitters and complete a short entry form on www.facebook.com/AngosturaUK.

Each bartender presented two original recipes, which were judged based on appearance, aroma and taste. They had to demonstrate the versatility and mixability of Angostura Aromatic Bitters.

Jamie, who also works as a consultant mixologist, will be flown on an all-expenses-paid trip to Trinidad and Tobago for an unforgettable trip. The winner will be named Angostura’s global brand ambassador and receive a $10,000 prize. In addition, the winner will participate in the party capital of the Caribbean’s Trinidad Carnival in full costume. This spectacular two-day event is a colourful celebration of music, dance and elaborate dress from everyone involved, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Alison Gibb, international brand manager for Angostura, said: “Jamie was a truly worthy winner and his creations using Angostura Aromatic Bitters and Angostura 1919 rum blew away our judges who were thoroughly impressed with what they were presented.

“The calibre of entrants to this year’s UK contest was truly amazing and to host this in The Ivy during London Cocktail Week made the whole experience that little bit more special. Our thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations again to Jamie who can now look forward to taking part in the final in Trinidad – again.”

Jamie’s winning cocktails were the Rutherford, inspired by Ernest Rutherford who came up with the technique of splitting the atom while working at the university in Manchester, where the Yorkshire-born bartender is now based. This is reflected in the “split” maraschino cherry garnish. His Hanuman cocktail is named after the Hindu god whose 85ft statue he came across in Carapichaima on Trinidad.

The Rutherford by Jamie Stephenson

50ml Angostura 1919
10ml Sacred Spiced Vermouth
10ml Volare Apricot Brandy
1 barspoon of acacia honey
8 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Garnish: Maraschino cherry

Stir well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry cut in half.

Hanuman by Jamie Stephenson

50ml Edmond Briottet Rhubarb Liqueur
25ml Lemon juice
Half an egg white
10ml Monin Butterscotch Syrup
5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Rinse of Angostura 1919 rum
Garnish: Lemon twist

Shake well and strain into a chilled coupette rinsed with Angostura 1919. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Siegert’s Flip by Elliot Ball

50ml Angostura 1919 rum
10 dashes of Angostura bitters
15ml grapefruit-lemon cordial (homemade)
1 whole egg
Garnish: Grated nutmeg and cardamom

Dry shake, and then wet shake. Fine-strain into a tall decorative goblet. Top with grated nutmeg and cardamom. It is named after the creator of Angostura Aromatic Bitters.

The Prodigal Punch by Elliot Ball

50ml Angostura 1919 rum
10ml Lime cordial (homemade)
5 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
12.5ml Fresh pomegranate juice
40ml Natural mineral water
Garnish: Mint leaf

Build and serve at room temperature, in a mini goblet. Garnish with a mint leaf.

1919 Smoky Barrel by Máté Csatlós

50ml Angostura 1919
15ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
10ml Visciolata Del Cardinale cherry dessert wine
10ml Périque tobacco liqueur infused with roasted coffee beans
5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Served with coffee smoke and orange peel.

Isla Verde by Máté Csatlós

50ml H by Hine cognac
1 Fresh avocado
15ml Fresh pineapple juice
20ml Vanilla and basil syrup
25ml Lemon juice 25ml
5 dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters

Served with basil leaves and dried grapes.

Updated November 30, 2012: Due to a conflict of interest, Jamie Stephenson’s place at the final in Trinidad & Tobago next year will be taken by Elliot Ball who will compete on behalf of the UK in the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2013. However, Jamie will still attend the event in Trinidad & Tobago as part of the Angostura brand team.

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