The World’s Best Martini Challenge returns to London

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The third annual The World’s Best Martini Challenge is coming to London in January, calling gin-makers from across the globe to submit a bottle of their finest spirit.

Entries for 2019 are now open, and founders and Martini aficionados Gary Sharp and James Thomas are encouraging brands, from small independent makers to the hottest names in the game, to put forward their gin to be the official base for The World’s Best Martini.

This year, for the first time, each gin entry will also be in with the chance to be selected for inclusion in the first annual World’s Best Martini Tour around some of London’s finest cocktail bars.

Running from 6-20 November 2018, the Martini Tour gives consumers the opportunity to visit participating bars, who will be offering a special ‘signature’ Martini created with their partnered gin brand.

Callooh Callay, Every Cloud, Reverend JW Simpson, The Cocktail Trading Company​​, ​Quaglino’s ​​and ​Fontaine’s, among other bars, are confirmed to take part, while participating gins include Fords Gin, Portobello Gin, Tarquin’s Cornish Gin, Silent Pool and Marylebone Gin ​​to name but a few.

Members of the public will be asked to share their favourite Martini via social media using the hashtag #MartiniTour and @WBMChallenge.

Gary and James will make their way around the tour over the course of the two weeks to try each signature Martini, as well as carrying out independent tastings. It will then be up to them and the public vote to whittle down the best serves to the top five gins, which will then compete in the public grand final on 15 January at 100 Wardour Street.

Co-founder James said: “We are so excited to be bringing the competition back to London for 2019! This year, we are aiming to really emphasise the relationships between the gin makers, bartenders and bars.

“We’re looking for a gin that is good enough to be in the World’s Best Martini, created by a bartender with the skills and talent to create something truly unique, with a world-class bar as their stage.”

In January 2018, six finalists battled it out at Oslo in Hackney, where Scottish distillers Arbikie (team pictured), in partnership with bartender Francesco Petracci from The Gibson, took home the crown.

Current reigning champion Ian Stirling of Arbikie said: “The competition was a brilliant way to get our brand in front of some genuine gin fanatics and industry names. We highly recommend getting involved for the 2019 competition – and look forward to defending our title.”

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