American bartender Brandon Phillips has won the title of global bartender champion in the international final of Beefeater’s MIXLDN competition in London.
He triumphed after three days of challenges under the theme of “London Inspires You”, which saw 30 finalists from around the world whittled down to just eight before the grand final.
Brandon, who works at The Duck Inn in Chicago, created a London-inspired cocktail called the Hackney Handshake that used Beefeater 24 Gin with a manzanilla sherry and a syrup made from apple and popcorn tea, garnished with juniper-dusted popcorn.
The judges included Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne, Ryan Chetiyawardana of London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan, and spirits writers Dave Broom, Simon Difford and Sandrae Lawrence.
Brandon, who is pictured above with Desmond, said: “I am very excited to have won Beefeater MIXLDN, which is the best and most challenging competition I have been involved with so far.
“Beefeater is the definitive dry gin and exploring its rich heritage at its home in London has been an unparalleled experience and one of the highlights in my career. I can’t wait to go back to the US and champion Beefeater.”
He has won the opportunity to be mentored at the Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador Programme, and will attend two of the world’s most prestigious bartender events of their choice, which could include Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, the Moscow Bar Show or Tokyo Bar Show.
JC Iglesias, international brand director for Beefeater, said: “Beefeater is dedicated to nurturing our biggest advocates, and our MIXLDN Global Bartender competition has seen an overwhelmingly talented and passionate group from the international on-trade community battle it out behind the bar.
“Every year we look forward to welcoming some of the most talented bartenders from around the world to join us here in London. All competitors have shown great skill across the competition to create some outstanding and original cocktails inspired by our capital city and we would like to congratulate Brandon Phillips on his win.”
The Hackney Handshake by Brandon Phillips (US measures with UK conversions)
2oz Beefeater Gin (60ml)
0.5oz Lustau Manzanilla Sherry (15ml)
0.75oz Lemon Juice (22.5ml)
1oz Movie Night Syrup (made with Movie Night Tea from David\’s Tea) (30ml)
1 Egg white soda
Garnish with juniper-dusted popcorn.
No method or UK measures available.