Opihr World Adventure 2016 in pictures

20th September, 2016 by Nicola Carruthers


Five finalists were flown to Marrakech for the grand final on Saturday (17 September), comprising Paddy Noir of MVP, Ireland; Joe Macbeth of Rub Smokehouse & Bar, Nottingham; Carla Molina Ruiz of Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, London; Maxime Carlier of Mes Amis Waregem, Belgium; and Eric Stephenson of Monkey’s Eyebrow’s Bottling Co., Amsterdam.


Contestants were given one hour and a budget of 300 dirham (£30) to find, haggle and buy everything they needed to create their individual Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin cocktails.


The bartenders also had to source the drinking vessels fresh from the souks of Marrakech, resulting in an array of traditional Moroccan glasses from tajines to teapots.


Finalists then had one hour to prepare and practise with their chosen ingredients before the grand final on the rooftop of the beautiful Riad Dar Zelda.


Once names were picked from the hat, it was Netherlands finalist Eric Stephenson of Monkey’s Eyebrow’s Bottling Co in Amsterdam who presented first. His drink, ‘Medina Punch’, was a “refreshing and well-balanced” combination of Opihr Gin, lemon juice, honey, Angostura bitters, mint and orange oleo saccharum.


Next up to pick up the shaker was Maxime Carlier of Mes Amis Waregem in Belgium with his ‘Global Marrakech’ cocktail – combining Opihr Gin with red wine, orange liqueur, apple vinegar, sugar and egg white.


Representing the UK was Carla Molina Ruiz of Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in London, who combined her Spanish background with Moroccan cuisine through her drink ‘Drinkable Tagine’ – a “savoury” mix of Opihr Gin, grated tomatoes, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, peach juice, coriander and port.


Inspired by the spice route, representing the UK next was Joe Macbeth of Rub Smokehouse & Bar in Nottingham with his ‘Fragrant Harbour’ cocktail served in a Moroccan teapot – an eclectic combination of Opihr Gin, lemon verbena and green tea-infused Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon juice and homemade spiced orgeat.

paddyFinishing off the competition was Irish bartender Paddy Noir of MVP with his drink ‘Ritual Experience’ – a Moroccan twist on a Julep. The cocktail was a blend of Opihr Gin, eucalyptus and mint tea syrup, Lillet Blanc, root ginger and preserved lemon, served to the judges in a silver teapot.


After much deliberation, judges gathered the finalists round to reveal Joe Macbeth as the 2016 Opihr World Adventure Cocktail Competition champion. Once the winner had been announced, the group celebrated by heading to Restaurant Comptoir Darna for a final supper together as the Moroccan sun set.

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