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Everleaf reveals Spritz Challenge winners

Non-alcoholic apéritif brand Everleaf has awarded all three finalists of its Spritz Challenge a joint prize.

Everleaf Spritz winners, L-R: Max Hayward, Laurie Howells and Denise Elisei
L-R: Max Hayward, Laurie Howells and Denise Elisei

The third edition of the Everleaf Spritz Challenge launched in January of this year, with three finalists selected in March: Max Hayward from Lab 22 in Cardiff; Laurie Howells from Eve Bar in London; and Denise Elisei from London’s Vesper Bar.

The participants were asked to create a Spritz using one of Everleaf’s three expressions – Forest, Mountain or Marine. The drink should ‘tell the story of a time they explored nature’, using no more than five ingredients.

The winners will now be invited on a three-day trip to Iceland with Everleaf founder Paul Mathew to explore ‘the wonderful world of seaweed’.

Hayward’s serve, Afal-Leaf, featured Everleaf Marine, Bramley apple and thyme cordial, tonic and non-alcoholic sparkling wine. The drink was inspired by his childhood by the Northumbrian coast.

Howells’ serve was based on Everleaf Mountain and called Blossom Spritz. The non-alcoholic apéritif was paired with Mancino Sakura vermouth, toasted koji rice cordial, yuzu ponzu and soda.

For her drink Trees Will Guide You Home, Elisei blended Everleaf Forest with turmeric syrup, caper brine and tonic. The serve was inspired by her childhood memories of forests and her carpenter father.

Mathew said: “We were delighted with the response we had to the third year of our Spritz Challenge; the journeys into nature that the entries took us on were just brilliant to experience.

“Given the number of personal stories and great drinks, it was truly hard to whittle them down. We eventually shortlisted three finalists whom we asked to prepare the drink and take us on their journey into nature from the setting of their bar.

“Each story was unique, and each drink was creative and delicious, so in the end, we decided to award all three joint first place – congratulations! I can’t wait to take them on a seaweed-themed journey into nature of my own in Iceland later this year.”

Everleaf Forest was awarded a Master medal at The Low & No Masters 2024, while Mountain bagged a Gold.

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