Wildcard bartender wins Bombay Sapphire compBy Annie Hayes
Bombay Sapphire has crowned wildcard entrant, Austria’s Sigrid Ehm, as the winner of its World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition.
Ehm’s “outstanding performance” outshone entries by seven other hopeful bartenders from Europe, North America and Japan at the global final, where she stole the show with her cocktail El Diamante.
The cocktail is a twist on the classic Martini, made by infusing Bombay Sapphire gin with a lemon, cherry noilly prat, and an original salt and earth syrup before being carefully strained into the glass.
The competition, which is now in its fourth year, took the eight finalists on a trip to experience the culture of Madrid and the botanical fields of Murcia, Alicante, before they arrived in London to face the judges at the grand final.
Finalists were challenged to create a new Bombay Sapphire-based cocktail, combining “individual influence and creativity”, with the “cultural experiences discovered during the trip”.
A panel of industry experts judges the entries, including Peter Dorelli, former head bartender at The Savoy; Julie Reiner, owner of Manhattan’s Flatiron Lounge and Brooklyn’s Clover Club; Nik Fordham, Bombay Sapphire master distiller; and last year’s competition winner, Remy Savage of The Little Red Door in Paris.
Raj Nagra, Bombay Sapphire global brand ambassador, said: “Our aim for the competition this year is to enable finalists to discover sublime beauty in the everyday and express that new found knowledge through the art of mixology.
“We’ve explored the cosmopolitan vivacity of Madrid, the rich groves of Murcia and the most magnificent parts of England, to understand first-hand how our exotic gin is made. The culmination of a once-in-a-lifetime experience ends here as we crown Sigrid Ehm the winner of the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition 2015.”
As the winner, Ehm will receive a place in the Cocktail Hall of Fame in the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England – where she will work with master distiller Nik Fordham to create a personalised expression of gin.
Ehm said: “I’m ecstatic that my salt of the earth cocktail has won me the title of Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender. It is truly an honour to be the first female winner of such a prestigious competition and I’m thrilled at the prospect of creating my own expression of gin at Laverstoke Mill.”