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Glenfarclas names winner of first cocktail comp

Glasgow-based bartender Kevin Carr has been named the winner of Glenfarclas’s inaugural cocktail competition after impressing a panel of judges with his summery pea-based serve.

Kevin Carr, of Urban Bar and Brasserie

The Highland Scotch brand launched its first cocktail competition this year in order to showcase the mixability of single malt. Bartenders were tasked with producing a creative cocktail that used the cask-strength Glenfarclas 105 as its base and would be suitable to be served at the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March.

Six bartenders took part in the final following three regional heats, which took place in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Glasgow finalist Carr, who works at the Urban Bar and Brasserie, was inspired by the surroundings of Glenfarclas when creating his Green Grass Fizz cocktail – a nod to the distillery’s name, which translates as ‘valley of the green grass’.

The serve contained muddled sugar snap peas, agave syrup, lemon juice, 40ml of Glenfarclas 105 and sparkling coconut water to provide a “tropical, summery note”.

According to Carr, the use of peas offers a “light and slightly vegetal note that brings out the dried fruit flavours of Glenfarclas 105”, which is bottled at 60% abv.

The other competition finalists were: Cal McMillan of Mini Bar in Glasgow, Kirsten Webb from Forgan’s in St Andrews, Leonardo Giacomello from China Tang in London, Robert Beaton from The Malt Room in Inverness, and Joe Nelson from The Tippling House in Aberdeen.

The winning cocktail: Green Grass Fizz

The judging panel for the final consisted of: John Grant, chairman of Glenfarclas; Callum Fraser, Glenfarclas distillery manager; Peter Donnelly, director at Glenfarclas distributor Pol Roger; Louise Gallagher, sales manager for Scotland at the north of England at Pol Roger; and Andy Galloway, of Bramble Bar Group.

At the close of the competition, Grant said: “For me, this experience has been extraordinary. I am not a cocktail person; I am a whisky distiller. For a long time it was taboo to use whisky in cocktails so this has been quite an experience and I have enjoyed it very much.

“All of the finalists have been excellent in different ways – some of the cocktails were fruity while others were spicy, but I am delighted to announce the Green Grass Fizz cocktail by Kevin Carr as the winner.”

As his prize, Carr will receive a three-day experience at Glenfarclas, while his Green Grass Fizz cocktail will be the Glenfarclas 105 signature serve for two years and will be served to guests at the upcoming Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Glenfarclas is planning to expand the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 105 Cask Strength Cocktail Competition nationally next year, with additional heats across the UK.

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