Rémy Cointreau-owned Greek spirit Metaxa has named Thomas Hay-Owens from The Venner Bar at The Bull Hotel 2019’s Metaxa Twelve competition winner.
This year’s contest invited bartenders across the UK to create a new serve incorporating Metaxa 12 Stars, which were judged on four main qualities: Look, Sense, Listen and Explore.
Nearly one hundred entries were narrowed down to sixty five, which were judged through regional heats across the UK. The final twelve were selected and offered a place to compete in the final in Greece, which involved a trip to the Athens Bar Show.
At the final, the bartenders presented their cocktails and recipes to the judging panel, which included Sandrae Lawrence, editor of The Cocktail Lovers, and Denny Kalivoka from Difford’s Guide Greece.
Thomas impressed the judges with his cocktail, The Nephelê, made with Metaxa 12 Stars, tahini washed ginger wine, clarified pineapple and damiana and aquafaba.
He was awarded the grand prize, which will see him guest shift representing Metaxa at some of the top bars across the globe, including Galaxy Bar in Dubai and The Clumsies in Athens.
Thomas said: “To be part of the inaugural Metaxa Twelve competition was an honour and privilege in itself. The calibre of bartenders competing was second to none, and just to share the stage with them felt like a win.”
Metaxa Twelve 2019 finalists
Marcos Ameneiros Zannone from Edition Hotel, London
Lukas Etus from Heads + Tails, London
Jitka Zanova from Laylow, London
Tommaso Cicala from Nine Lives, London
Kuba Korzynski from Black Rock Tavern, London
Alexa Farrow from Silver Lining, London
Kelsie Hamilton from Nightcap, Edinburgh
Panos Dimou from Atlantic Bar and Brasserie, Glasgow
Thomas Hay-Owens from The Venner Bar at The Bull Hotel, Bridport
Sonia Appoloni from The Ivy Bath Brasserie, Bath
Dan Crowther from Hedonist, Leeds
Matthew Birks from The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel, Birmingham