The overall UK winner was Team East London, made up of Terry Cashman from The Hoxton Pony, Alex Clark of 64th & Social in Clapham and Simon Toohey of Callooh Callay in Shoreditch. (Update: Alex Clark was unable to go so judges selected a top-performing competitor in the UK final, Max Venning from The Violet Hour in West Didsbury, Manchester, to join Team UK.)
They will be joined by the “wild card” winners Team Scotland, which comprises Jamie MacDonald of The Raconteur in Edinburgh, Danil Nevsky of Society in Aberdeen and Megan DeMeulenaere of Bramble in Edinburgh.
They were among seven teams of three that competed in a day of challenges at the UK final at Floripa in Shoreditch, east London (pictured), culminating in them each making their own experimental and ground-breaking cocktail.
The two winning teams will travel to New Zealand from September 3 to 9 to compete in the global final against teams from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Italy. The international panel of judges will include Tony Conigliaro of London’s 69 Colebrooke Row and Zetter Townhouse.
There will also be a “Startenders” team made up of three invited bartenders from around the world, which includes JJ Goodman, the co-founder of London Cocktail Club bars. His fellow team members are Danielle Dalla Polla from Nu Lounge in Bologna, Italy, and Michael Callahan from the US who now runs 28 Hong Kong St in Singapore.
Here are the six UK bartenders’ signature cocktails:
Charles Up ‘Em by Terry Cashman
20ml Lemon juice
20ml Sugar syrup (1:1)
Dash egg white
5ml Liqueur de Coquelicot
50ml 42Below Feijoa
Dry shake, shake and strain.
Butter Beer by Alex Clark
40ml 42Below Manuka
25ml Popcorn-infused white rum
20ml Butterscotch schnapps
25ml Liquefied butter
Barspoon of caramel sauce
2 pinches of vanilla salt
60ml Asahi beer
Butter foam: 50ml liquefied butter, 30ml butterscotch schnapps, 6 egg whites
Add all the ingredients, except beer, to a mixing glass and stir to dilute the caramel sauce. Add cubed iced and shake for a good 20 seconds until the butter solidifies. Double-strain into a lead tankard and stir in the 60ml of beer. Top with butter foam, almost to an overflow, like a good beer should be served. Garnish with a string-tied newspaper.
RTB by Simon Toohey
50ml 42Below Manuka Honey
30ml Lemon juice
30ml Lime juice
5ml Cider vinegar
1 African miracle berry
Consume the dried fruit, sucking on it for five minutes…. While doing so, put all the ingredients into a soda stream. Carbonate. Then transfer to a personalised bottle.
Paradise Island by Jamie MacDonald
50ml 42Below Kiwi
50ml Soy milk
50ml Almond milk
1 small spoon of xanthan
5 pieces of pineapple
Blend and strained into a tiki mug laid out on a “beach” with edible sand and “shoreline” consisting of dehydrations of pineapple, kiwi and raspberry with toasted dedicated coconut.
Morpheus by Danil Nevsky
25ml 42Below Manuka
20ml 42Below Feijoa
15ml Chartreuse VEP
1 dash Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
700mg Citric acid (inside blue and red pills)
Bundle of dried Anchan flowers
Add all ingredients apart from the citric acid and Aperol into a mixing glass. Place the mixing glass into a hot water bath to heat up the alcohol and release natural blue colouring from the Anchan flowers. Once a bright blue colour is achieved remove the flowers. Put on some Morpheus Glasses, offer the customer a red or blue pill and pronounce the following: “You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” When the customer picks a pill, break open the capsule and pour the citric acid inside into the mixing glass and stir. The blue colour will turn red as the flowers are a natural litmus test. Add ice and Aperol and stir down. Spray some orange zest into a frozen Old Fashioned glass, add ice and pour the drink into the glass. Spray additional orange zest over the top and garnish with orange peel.
Kiwi Escape by Megan DeMeulenaere
50ml 42Below vodka
50ml Homemade pineapple milk
15ml Coco Lopez coconut cream
15ml Age essence: wood water stripped off Bacardi 8 Year Old using the rotovap)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake and stain over cubed ice in a glass mug, top with soda water, and garnish with a pineapple wedge, pineapple leaf and a fresh cherry.