A West Sussex bartender has won Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship for the second year running, defending his title in New Orleans.
Dave White from The Dead Parrot in Horsham beat competition from four other finalists – and over 120 entrants across 15 regional heats – in the final showdown at the international Tales of the Cocktail festival last week.
The competition was designed to test bartenders on the “skills that pay the bills”. At the final, tasks included testing contestants’ business acumen and understanding of gross profit, challenges to test management and HR skills and a mega quiz to test general bartending knowledge.
New for this year, and to take advantage of the competition’s first overseas final, Monkey Shoulder also set a series of daily “scavenger hunt” challenges across New Orleans.
As part of the winner’s prize, Dave will run his own bar at London Cocktail Week from October 3 to 9, which will be promoted and stocked by Monkey Shoulder. He will get to keep all the takings made during the week.
In last year’s Ultimate Bartender Championship, Dave was part of a team from The Dead Parrot who won the prize of running a bar at London Cocktail Week, taking home over £13,000 between them.
Dave said: “I’m thrilled to be crowned the UK’s Ultimate Bartender for the second year in a row. Monkey Shoulder really stepped up the competition this year but the scavenger hunt around New Orleans was the real icing on the cake. The trophy will take pride of place in the bar whilst planning for London Cocktail Week gets under way.”
The other finalists included Adam Binnersley of Mojo in Manchester, who replaced Bristol-based bartender Chelsie Bailey, originally named as one of the five finalists. The other three were all from Aberdeen: Nick Gordon and Jonathan Arthur from Orchid and Cameron Woodger from Ninety-Nine Bar & Kitchen.
Grant Neave, Monkey Shoulder’s UK brand ambassador, said “The Ultimate Bartender Championship is all about challenging the best bartenders on the UK bar scene. Dave did a great job across the new challenges and the scavenger hunt, proving he definitely has the skills to pay the bills. And what better place to celebrate his win at the home of cocktails: the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans”.
Dave is pictured left at the back with (back row) Adam Binnersley and Jonathan Arthur and, in the front row, Nick Gordon and Cameron Woodger.