Swizzle Masters Great British Gin winnerBy Annie Hayes
Coinciding with the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, last month Swizzlers were tasked with crafting a quintessentially British cocktail – with taste bud-tingling results.
We asked Swizzlers submit their interpretation of the UK in cocktail form, using Greenall’s Gin as the base spirit. Not only could it be considered Britain’s most beloved spirit, the choice is particularly relevant – as the UK’s longest-reigning monarch is said to enjoy a gin and Dubonnet every day before lunch, without fail.
Judges gathered at underground gin-focused bar 214 Bermondsey, where bartender Daniel Cavalcante took great care in recreating 10 of the most worthy recipes to their exact specifications.
Alessandro Paludet, bar development manager at Urban Leisure Group, and Alan Hunter, bartender at Antico Restaurant; joined me, Annie Hayes, news, web and social media editor at The Spirits Business, in scoring each recipe on its methodology, presentation, aroma, balance and name.
“Fruity, delicate and juicy” on the nose, with a “refreshing, textured, interesting” palate, Charlie Gollands’ Rhubarb Britannia hit all the right notes and was voted the winner of the heat.
By combining Greenall’s Gin with just three other ingredients – Wenneker Red Rhubarb, lemon juice and Aperol – Gollands’ entry stood out for its tart-sweet contrast and was praised as a drink to be sipped all evening.
“Great thinking behind the combination of ingredients,” said Paludet. “It’s simple yet complex, flavourful, and with beautiful colour and presentation.”
Securing second place was The Violet Rose by Josephe Kourmouzis – a vibrant entry that took our taste buds by surprise.
Combining the base spirit with Wenneker Sloe Gin, Wenneker Blackberry, Monin Caramel Syrup, Wenneker Blueberry, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and eight blueberries, Kourmouzis’ cocktail won praise for its “sweet, summery, moreish” nature.
Third place was awarded to the “earthy yet sweet” Full Bloom by Joshua Powell, which won top marks for presentation. The heavily beetroot-led aroma was expertly juxtaposed with the cocktail’s “refreshing and light” flavour on the palate.
Gollands’ 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.
The next Wenneker Swizzle Masters round is Japanese Whisky Highball Twist. Take on this classic signature serve and make it your own – just be sure to use Nikka From The Barrel. Don’t let the simplicity of this serve throw you off – ingredients must be carefully considered, with an emphasis on the garnish. Bartenders have until 18 July to submit their recipes online at www.swizzlemasters.com.
Click through to the next page to discover how to recreate the winning recipes from the latest round.
1ST PLACE: RHUBARB BRITANNIA BY CHARLIE GOLLANDS
Ingredients: 25ml Greenall’s Gin, 30ml Wenneker Red Rhubarb, 15ml lemon juice, 20ml Aperol
Method: Shake and then double strain into a pre-chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a small chunk of rhubarb, with a ‘v’ cut at one end
2ND PLACE: THE VIOLET ROSE BY JOSEPHE KOURMOUZIS
Ingredients: 30ml Greenall’s Gin, 15ml Wenneker Sloe Gin, 10ml Wenneker Blackberry, 10ml Monin Caramel Syrup, 10ml Wenneker Blueberry, 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice, 8 blueberries
Method: Chill a Champagne coupe. Put eight blueberries and Monin Caramel Syrup into shaker and muddle into a paste. Add Greenall’s Gin, Wenneker Sloe Gin, Wenneker Blackberry, Wenneker Blueberry and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain into coupe, twist large lemon peel over drink and place on the side of the glass to garnish
3RD PLACE: FULL BLOOM BY JOSHUA POWELL
Ingredients: 50ml Greenall’s Gin, 15ml Wenneker Vanilla, 20ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 10ml simple syrup, 2 twists black peppercorns, 1 small cooked beetroot
Method: Muddle the beetroot in the bottom of a shaker before adding the other ingredients. Add cold ice to top and shake well