Tennessee calls for these top bartenders

Bartenders from across Scotland have been battling it out for a place on a career-changing trip to the USA.

The competition, launched by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey at the Glasgow Sessions in October, set out to find the most creative bartenders in Scotland. Bartenders were tasked with creating a cocktail using Jack Daniel’s that demonstrated their creativity, passion and flair. A panel of judges including Stuart McCluskey and Erik Lorincz toured the country to select three winners from hundreds of entries.

The three talented winners of Tennessee Calling are Grant Murray of Bar One in Inverness for his cocktail The Usual – using a cherry balsamic and cola reduction, Ryan Mowat of The Finnieston, Glasgow, for his recipe Full Circle – garnished with a sprig of dill. Caitlin Tulloch of Lucy Liquor Company, Edinburgh won a place for her drink Jack’s Rising which combined Old No. 7 with an Islay whisky.

The three finalists will now be given the opportunity to get up close and personal with their bartending heroes and to hone their bartending skills on a trip to Tennessee and New York, designed to help them reach their full potential. Working with the best mentors in the business, the three winners of Tennessee Calling will create, plan and host an event at prestigious cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit in New York City. After leaving New York, the winners will then travel to Lynchburg, Tennessee for the ultimate distillery experience, to see how Jack Daniel’s whiskey is made first-hand with master distiller Jeff Arnett.

Nidal Ramini, head of brand advocacy in northern Europe for Brown-Forman, said the competition highlighted what fantastic talent there is in Scotland.

“Back in the 1860s, Lynchburg lutheran minister and part time distiller, Dan Call taught a young Jasper ‘Jack’ Daniel the secret of making great whiskey. With Dan’s mentorship, Jack went on to build the famous brand we know today.

“To celebrate Jack’s own mentorship, Jack Daniel’s has set out to inspire the next generation of bartenders with the launch of Tennessee Calling. This competition has shown us what fantastic talent there is across Scotland alone – the standard was exceptionally high and we are extremely excited to see this through to the next stage of the journey with the mentorship program in the USA.”

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