Talisker cocktail competition sets bartenders on ‘race to Skye’

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Bartenders are being challenged to create a cocktail with Talisker whisky for a chance to compete at a final at its home on the Isle of Skye.

Returning for a second year, the Race to Skye competition is seeking recipes that “evoke the spirit of Talisker’s Made By the Sea campaign”, which celebrates the single malt’s homeland and heritage.

Made on the remote and rugged Isle of Skye at the oldest distillery in the region, entries need to embody and amplify its maritime sea-salt flavour and smooth, smoky finish.

Bartenders have until Friday June 1, 2018, to email their entries to Stephen Martin, Diageo Reserve GB ambassador, at Stephen.L.Martin@Diageo.com with a picture of the serve, ingredients and method.

Ten bartenders from each region will be selected to compete at one of the semi-finals in Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London which will take place between June 25 and July 5.

Five finalists and one wildcard entry will then go on to the ultimate challenge on Skye from August 13 to 15, exploring the island and its distilleries and taking part in the grand final.

The champion will be awarded the title of honorary Talisker ambassador and work with the brand over the next year, gaining exposure and building their network, while telling the brand’s story.

Last year’s winner was Andrew Lennie. He said: “I can honestly say to anyone thinking about entering this year’s Race to Skye, it’s a game changer! It’s a tough competition but enriching and a lot of fun.

“There aren’t many people that can say they’ve gone from mixing cocktails at the Mash Tun at Blair Athol distillery to tasting some of the rarest Talisker whiskies in the world in just a few days.

“It has been incredible to work with the Talisker team over the last year and it has enhanced my career in so many ways. I can’t wait to see what the next Race to Skye competition brings.’’

Nick Temperley, head of Diageo Reserve GB, added: “Talisker Race to Skye was a huge success last year. We took our finalists to a remote Scottish island, they had an amazing two days visiting distilleries and creating some impressive cocktails.

“The Isle of Skye is pretty special. I’m sure the bartenders fell in love with the place just as much as the liquid.

“If last year is anything to go by, we’re expecting over 100 entries from across the UK. Only six however, will be lucky enough to enjoy the experience.

“Yes, it’s challenging, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity. We have some exciting new additions to the competition this year too and we’re looking forward to seeing how the nation’s bartenders respond to them. Last year was great, but this year will be even better.”

Click here for a full report of the 2017 competition.

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