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Mikey Pendergast triumphs in Bourbon Battle European final

Bartender Mikey Pendergast will be competing in the global final of the Rebel Yell Bourbon Battle cocktail competition after impressing judges at the European final.

L-r: Melita Kiely, Mikey Pendergast, John Rempe and Thom Solberg

Held in London last week, four bartenders went head to head at TT Liquor in Shoreditch for a spot in the final, which will take place at Lux Row Distillers in Kentucky in September.

Hosted by Michele Reina, Rebel Yell European brand ambassador, the competitors comprised: Kealan Lafferty of Tom’s in Dundee, Scotland; Lewis Parry of The Curious Cat in Grimsby, England; Mikey Pendergast of East London Liquor Company in London, England; and Mattia Lotti of Jigger in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

The judging panel was made up of: John Rempe, head distiller and master blender at Lux Row Distillers; Thom Solberg, bar manager at London bar Black Rock; and Melita Kiely, deputy editor of The Spirits Business magazine.

Finalists were challenged to present a cocktail using an expression of Rebel Yell Bourbon, with a maximum of seven ingredients and within a time frame of seven minutes.

Pendergast impressed the judges with his creation, called If You Don’t Dance Then Sit Down, which was made with Rebel Yell Bourbon, Franks Hot Sauce, Monin Mango Syrup, Lemon Juice, and Ms. Better’s Miracle Foamer Bitter, topped off with a sweet and salted popcorn garnish.

Rempe said: “We were incredibly impressed with the phenomenally high standard of this year’s entrants. All European finalists impressed with their unique approaches to the competition brief.

“Mikey’s entry had a real edge, he wowed in all areas including creativity, bar-tainment and, of course, taste – his cocktail had a real kick that suits Rebel Yell to a T.”

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