Auchentoshan Switch winner revealedBy Amy Hopkins
Aidan Bowie, of The Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow, has been announced as the European winner of Auchentoshan Switch following a close final held in London.
Bowie battled it out against 11 other bartenders to become the European champion of the Auchentoshan Switch transatlantic cocktail-making competition, winning the opportunity to spend two weeks working at the Dead Rabbit in New York next year.
A second winner – who is yet to be selected from North America – will win the opportunity to work at London’s Nightjar for two weeks.
“This year’s Auchentoshan Switch has seen such a high level of skill from the bartending world,” said Jennifer Meenan, brand manager for Auchentoshan. “We wanted the competition to reflect the brand’s personality and we feel that the European final did just that.”
In the London leg of the competition, entrants first took part in a ‘creativity and presentation’ round which involved presenting an original Auchentoshan Three Wood recipe.
This was followed by a ‘working under pressure round’ which required the bartenders to create an Auchentoshan cocktail using a mystery bag of ingredients.
A final ‘cocktail showdown round’ saw to finalists create the Blood and Sand cocktail – a favourite of judge Rachel Barrie, Auchentoshan master distiller.
Joining Barrie on the judging panel was Edmund Weil, co-owner of Nightjar, and Ryan Chetiyawardana, renowned mixologist and bar-owner.
The final 12 entrants were selected from across Europe, who had previously taken part in various regional heats.
Weil, who will also soon be mentoring the North American winner alongside his team at Nightjar, said: “The Switch finalists showed so much talent and passion in their Auchentoshan Three Wood creations. The judges were blown away and some difficult decisions had to be made, but Aidan just had the edge.”