Gin Mare crowns Mediterranean Inspirations winners

7th September, 2016 by Annie Hayes

Marking a competition first, Gin Mare has named Fabio Brusco, representing Spain and Robyn Wilkie, representing the UK as joint winners of its Mediterranean Inspirations competition at a close final held in Ibiza.


Robyn Wilkie and Fabio Brusco, winners of Gin Mare’s Mediterranean Inspirations competition

Italian born Fabio Brusco, who represented San Rocco restaurant in Alicante, and Robyn Wilkie from 7 Tales by The Social Company in London, battled against six other bartenders from the US, Portugal, Germany, Austria and Italy to win a prize of €4,500 along with the opportunity to travel internationally with Gin Mare and participate in bar shows such as Tales of the Cocktail, Bar Convent Berlin and Imbibe London.

After winning their national heats throughout the year, the final eight contestants travelled to Gin Mare’s brand home in Ibiza, Villa Mare, for the sixth global final on Monday 5 September.

Contestants presented three cocktails to a panel of judges in two heats, who assessed the aroma, appearance and flavour profile of the serves.

The first heat required bartenders to present their personal twist on a Mediterranean gin and tonic – for which Brusco presented ‘Blood and Tonic’, which consisted of Gin Mare, fresh lemon juice, black salt and pepper mix, white tomato foam, and 1724 Tonic Water; while Wilkie crafted ‘The Olive Branch’ – Gin Mare, Cocchi Americano, Nori seaweed tincture and 1724 Tonic Water.

The Mare Nostrum – Latin for “Mediterranean” – round followed, with Brusco’s ‘Evergreen’ cocktail of Gin Mare, rosemary, celery juice, lemon juice, sugar, Ibiza salt and cava impressing the panel along with Wilkie’s ‘Locomotive’ comprising Gin Mare, sage and rosemary cordial, Tio Pepe Sherry and pepper gratin.

For the remaining heat, the finalists each crafted a Gastro Bartender drink with an egg theme, paired with a dish created in collaboration with a chef from

Here Brusco served up ‘Horizon’, which contained Gin Mare, egg yolk, sugar, lemon juice, herb liqueur and red wine, paired with a bread dish featuring tomato, anchovies, almond crisp with mayonnaise and curry.

For her final cocktail, Wilkie served up ‘The Masquerade’, combining Gin Mare with saffron and carrot shrub, lemon juice, almond and honey foam and a rice cracker to represent the ‘shell’ of an egg, along with a serve of grilled squid with aubergine puree, mint, orange and sunflower.

This year a double panel of judges were on hand to score each section of the competition. The gastronomic jury comprised Jonathan Armengol, food critic; Quim Márquez, of Boquería Market Barcelona; Aitor Olabegoya, of GastroJoy in China and Johan Langenbick, founder of

Jorge Balbontin, Vantguard brand development manager; Gegham Kazarian, of Kazaris Project; Ted Kilpatrick, US bartender and Erick Lorinks, of American Bar at The Savoy in London represented the mixology panel.

Carlos Ruiz of Crystal Springs, US, was named runner up in the competition, while Daniel Zamith, from Bistro 100 Maneiras in Portugal, was placed third. They were awarded €2,000 and €1,000 respectively.

The other global finalists were Andrea Zapis from Italy, Marius Kohne from Germany, Tainah Carvalho from the US, and Andreas Portz from Austria.

Last year Spanish bartender Manel Vehí was crowned winner of the 2015 Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspirations competition.

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