Swizzle Masters Tiki Rum winner unveiled

3rd March, 2016 by Annie Hayes

Hailed “a holiday in a glass”, Daniel Stanic’s cocktail, White Beach, triumphed in the Tiki Rum heat of The Wenneker Swizzle Masters.

1st-White-Beach

Daniel Stanic’s cocktail, White Beach

Evoking images of totem-shaped glassware, grass skirts and cocktail umbrellas, this month’s heat required Swizzlers to create an original tiki cocktail using Brugal Ron Blanco Especial White Rum, inspired by the tropical libations found in traditional tiki cocktail bars.

Nick Kingsman, Westerhall Rums UK importer; Ben Manchester, bar manager, of K Bar at The Kensington; and Melita Kiely, senior staff writer of The Spirits Business, assembled at Notting Hill’s Trailer Happiness to taste-test 10 shortlisted recipes based on their methodology, presentation, aroma, palate, balance and name, which bar manager Jamie Kimber recreated to the letter.

Winning first place, the standout cocktail was White Beach by Daniel Stanic, hailed as “a holiday in a glass” by our panel.

In his entry, Stanic explained both the name and flavour profile of the cocktail are intended to conjure images of “a warm summer’s day at the beach”.

The judges felt the combination of Ron Blanco Especial White Rum, Wenneker Caribbean Coconut, hazelnut syrup and milk represented accessible methodology.

“This is a lovely creamy cocktail – a perfect after-dinner tiki pleaser,” observed Kiely. “The coconut and hazelnut combination was delicious. Despite the low rum content, it was beautifully balanced.”

Left to right: Nick Kingsman, Westerhall Rums; Ben Manchester, K Bar at The Kensington; and Melita Kiely, The Spirits Business

Left to right: Nick Kingsman, Westerhall Rums; Ben Manchester, K Bar at The Kensington; and Melita Kiely, The Spirits Business

Second place was awarded to Francesco Montesano’s “very tasty” creation, Last Resort: a mix of Brugal Ron Blanco Especial White Rum, Brugal Añejo Rum, Wenneker Apricot Brandy, fresh passion fruit pulp, fresh lime juice, honey syrup, and ginger beer.

Judges complimented the “beautiful aroma”, made by caramelising brown sugar in half a passion fruit shell, topped with orange peel.

Joshua Powell’s cocktail The Trader secured third place, intended as “a twist on a Mai Tai, named after Trader Vic”. His “clever mix” of Brugal Ron Blanco Especial White Rum, Wenneker Vanilla, Wenneker Coffee, amontillado Sherry, Wenneker Triple Sec, freshly squeezed lime juice, pineapple juice and orgeat left an impression on the panel as a “great tasting” and “very drinkable” cocktail.

Overall, our panel admired entrants’ efforts to tackle the tiki trend, but placed emphasis on the importance of the base spirit.

Summing up the day’s judging, Kiely said: “The top three winners today were definitely the standout drinks for me. A lot of today’s entrants did not use enough rum and as such the flavour was overpowered by the other ingredients. White Beach was a really delicious cocktail, perfectly balanced and a worthy winner.”

Stanic’s recipe will now go through to the semi-final in October, when all nine 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. The bartender behind the winning recipe will be crowned Wenneker Swizzle Master 2016 and scoop £1,000.

Click through to the following page to see the winning recipes of the Tiki Rum round.

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