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Desi Daru vodka names cocktail competition judges

Award-winning British-Indian vodka brand Desi Daru has announced the judges for its inaugural cocktail competition.

L-R: Sukhinder Singh, Melita Kiely and Tobias Gorn

Desi Daru was designed to fuse Indian and British flavours through its vodka expressions, and will host its first cocktail competition – Desi Daru Culture Colliders – this summer with a £2,000 (US$2,500) cash prize up for grabs.

The judging panel will comprise: Mohit Singh, founder of Desi Daru; Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business; Tobias Gorn, co-founder and senior partner of International Drinks Specialists; and Sukhinder Singh, co-founder of Speciality Drinks, The Whisky Exchange and Elixir Distillers.

Mohit Singh said: “Having Sukhinder, Melita and Toby on board to judge the final allows us to really add some serious credibility to our inaugural Culture Colliders competition.

“We are thrilled and thankful to the judging panel for supporting us and are extremely excited for the finals.”

Culture Colliders aims to be more than a cocktail competition; the brand hopes it will also celebrate cultural diversity and artistic expression in mixology.

Bartenders are invited to push the boundaries of traditional cocktail making and experiment with ingredients that represent both British and Indian heritage.

The contest is open to bartenders of all levels across the UK. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will also receive a trip to Wood Brothers Distillery in Oxfordshire (where the vodka is made), a Michelin-starred meal for two, and a Culture Colliders trophy.

Entrants must use a minimum of 40ml Desi Daru Alphonso Mango Vodka, one Indian-inspired ingredient, and one British-inspired ingredient. Bartenders have until 31 May 2024 to enter. Initial judging will be blind, with scores based on the cocktail’s serve and story.

The finalists will have the chance to showcase their serves in front of the judges at a grand final in London, where the winners will be crowned.

Kiely commented: “I’m a huge fan of Desi Daru Alphonso Mango; the authentic, fresh mango flavour is truly exceptional. I’m so excited to join the judging panel for the first Desi Daru Culture Colliders cocktail competition.

“The UK has a fantastic bartending scene, and I cannot wait to see how they will use their artistic flair and creativity in Desi Daru cocktails.”

For more information and to enter visit or email

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