Wenneker Swizzle Masters names final five

10th November, 2016 by Nicola Carruthers

With five places up for grabs in the final Wenneker Swizzle Masters 2016 round, judges were tasked with selecting only the top contenders.

finalists

Nine fiercely competitive Swizzle Masters rounds have taken place throughout the year

A total of nine fiercely competitive rounds have taken place throughout the year, with bartenders from across the globe focusing their passion and skill to create original cocktails based on a different theme and spirit each month.

After an arduous tasting session, five outstanding cocktails were chosen to compete in the final round, where a triumphant winner will be named Wenneker Swizzle Master 2016 and win a £1,000 prize.

The semi-finalists were Ms Rosemary’s Smokin’ by Joe Summerfield; White Beach by Daniel Stanic; Summer Bloody Summer by Silvia Piccinato; The Odd Man by Alan Kennedy; Scottish Farewell by Patrizia Cavaliere; Rhubarb Britannia by Charlie Gollands; Sideball by Charlie Nash, Mon Sherry by Francesco Montesano; and Love in Guadalajara by Yefry Avilera.

On the judging panel were Romas Dangelevicius, head of operations at Shake and Stir Events; Hendrik Elstein, bartender at Shake and Stir Events; Ben Manchester, bar manager at K Bar at The Kensington; Paul Mathew, director of Demon, Wise & Partners; Jamie Kimber, UK brand ambassador of Willem Barentsz Gin; and Annie Hayes, news, web and social editor at The Spirits Business.

Diligently tending the bar was Robin Phileas, bartender at Demon, Wise & Partners, who set to the task of stirring, shaking and serving each tipple.

The first cocktail to be sent through to the final was February’s Smoky Mezcal heat winner Ms Rosemary’s Smokin’, by Joe Summerfield.

“I like the simple method and classy look. It’s a lovely drink and definitely very smoky,” Elstein said.

Matthew declared: “It’s a good-looking stirred cocktail, nice and bittersweet with a heavy rosemary aroma and finish. It definitely met the brief of ‘Smoky Mezcal’.”

Next to take a place in the final was The Odd Man by Alan Kennedy, winner of May’s Italian Apéritif heat.

“It has a real citrusy aroma and the Wenneker carrot liqueur works really well with Martini Rosso – a simple yet elegant presentation,” Dangelevicius said.

Mathew added: “It makes a decent, slightly light apperitivo drink.”

Third in the line-up was Rhubarb Britannia by Charlie Gollands, number one in July’s Great British Gin heat.

Hayes commented: “The flavour is lovely, it’s fruity and sour and has a sherbet confectionary taste.” While Kimbert said: “It reminds me of childhood sweets, it’s refreshing with flavours of sherbet and citrus – a really enjoyable drink.”

August’s Japanese Highball Twist winner, Sideball by Charlie Nash, was the fourth showstopper and was described as a “well-balanced and elegant” serve, while September’s Art Deco Cognac heat winner, Mon Sherry by Francesco Montesano, took the final place for its “lovely citrus nose”.

“This is a delicious classic-style cocktail – it’s rich and indulgent with wonderful bitter sweet chocolate flavours, so complex and elegant,” Kimber said. Manchester added: “It’s a really good after- dinner drink – chocolate comes through nicely and works with the Campari very well.”

Summing up the round, Hayes said: “I was thoroughly impressed with the standard of cocktails in this year’s semi-final. The winning cocktails were complex, rich, well balanced and beautifully served.

“This paves the way for a very interesting final – containing some of the hottest spirits of the year – Japanese whisky, mezcal, vermouth, Cognac and gin.”

Click through the following pages to view the finalists’ recipes.

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