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Swizzle Masters Savoury Scotch winner revealed

Last month’s Wenneker Swizzle Masters round challenged bartenders to create savoury cocktails, experimenting with vegetal, herby, or even meaty flavours.

Winning cocktail Dirty Ddich, created by Calin Ioaniciu
Winning cocktail Dirty Ddich, created by Calin Ioaniciu

Each inventive cocktail had to be expertly paired with award winning single malt, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, and feature at least a dash of Wenneker liqueurs – and none did that better than our winning drink, Dirty Ddich, created by Calin Ioaniciu.

The Shrub and Shutter in Brixton set the scene for our savoury tasting, our panel comprising Chris Edwards, the bar’s owner, Mike Sweetman, chairman of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG) and Daisy Jones, associate publisher of The Spirits Business.

Tending the bar on behalf of our finalists was The Shrub and Shutter’s bar manager, Rad Anuskevic.

Judges praised entrants for their dedication in sticking to our savoury brief with an abundance of exotic flavours on offer – green olive brine and soy sauce, to name two – but the most celebrated recipes were those which displayed skilled mixology and balance.

Jones commented: “Some of the drinks were delightful – they really championed the whisky and blended the ingredients without being overpowering. In others the Glenfiddich was totally lost, and needed something extra to elevate the ingredients and balance the drink.”

Second place was awarded to Sweet Caress by Pedro Arantes, while third place was given to Christmas Day by Mihai Fetcu.

Ioaniciu’s recipe will now go through to the semi-final in October, when the winning drinks from throughout the year will be recreated once more and judged against each other.

Five drinks will then be chosen to go through to the grand final in November, and the bartender behind the winning recipe will be crowned Swizzle Master 2015 and win £1,000.

The next Wenneker Swizzle Masters round is Vodka Collins, featuring Stolichnaya Vodka, citrus, and any type of sweetener. Bartenders have until 15 March to submit their recipes online at

Click through to the following page to see the winning recipes.

1st: Dirty Ddich by Calin Ioaniciu

Dirty Ddich by Calin Ioaniciu
Dirty Ddich by Calin Ioaniciu

Ingredients: 40ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, 20ml Wenneker Ginger, 2 bar spoonfuls of green olive brine, 3 dashes Master of Malt Coffee Bitter, to garnish: 1 slice dehydrated ginger

Method: All ingredients to mixing glass and stir well with ice. Strain into chilled goblet glass an garnish with burned slice of dehydrated ginger.


2nd: Sweet Caress by Pedro Arantes

Sweet Caress by Pedro Arantes

Ingredients: 40ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, 20ml Wenneker Marachino, 20ml Wenneker Triple Sec, 20ml Monin hibiscus syrup, 20ml Monin raspberry puree, 20ml fresh lemon juice, 20ml egg white, to garnish: dry hibiscus flowers

Method: Add all ingredient into shaker and hard dry shake for one minute. Add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fine strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass. Add garnish to center of glass on top of foam.


3rd: Christmas Day by Mihai Fetcu

Christmas Day by Mihai Fetcu

Ingredients: 40ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, 20ml Wenneker Mandarin, 30ml Coffee Infused Carpano Antica Formula Red Vermouth, 1 barspoon Monin pear syrup, to garnish: parmesan, baby germs, grated black truffle, lime zest

Method: Add 1tbsp of good quality coffee beans to 200ml of vermouth and let them sit for 30 mins. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass, add good quality ice and stir until the drink it well mixed, chilled and diluted. Strain into a prechilled metal coupette and garnish.

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