Wednesday the 19th March saw the final of the Chairman’s Reserve Cocktail Competition, staged at the Drinks Live Theatre in the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show in Manchester which, with over 250 exhibitors and 50 tastings and events, has become the largest food and drink trade exhibition in the North.
With an expert judging panel in Mark Ludmon, Editor of Bar Magazine, Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club, Manchester and Scott Wallace of Emporia Brands, each judge looked for knowledge on the Chairman’s Reserve brand, the appearance and presentation of the drink, the aromas of the cocktail and finally how it tasted.
Six bartenders were invited down to the main stage to recreate their drink, after being selected from the initial entries by Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack, and Steven James of Rum Diaries.
Impressing the three judges, and winning himself a trip to St Lucia as the guest of St Lucia Distillers, was Adam Binnersley of Corridor #UnderNewManagement, Salford. His recipe, ‘Chairman’s Moo’, utilising Chairman’s Reserve Finest, Briottet fig, honey and pistachio syrup, Angostura Bitters and buttermilk fought off stiff competition from his fellow competitors. His presentation also made headlines, utilising a ‘cow’ to help serve his drink.
Thom Hetherington, MD of Northern Restaurant & Bar, said “This show is all about celebrating the best of the Northern food and drink world, and in Adam I think we have an absolute star. I don’t doubt he’ll hold his own in St Lucia!” Hetherington added “Needless to say I’ll be in to see him at Corridor #UnderNewManagement and put the Chairman’s Moo to the test for myself very soon”.
Despite only advertising the one opportunity to win a trip to St Lucia, the judges mentioned that it was an incredibly close call between first and second, so it was decided by James Rackham, Chairman of Emporia Brands, the UK Distributor of St Lucia Distillers, that second placed Tom Higham of Kosmonaut would also be joining Adam to St Lucia. His ‘Luciana Helena’ had a mix of Chairman’s Reserve Finest, pineapple and sage syrup, smoked paprika syrup, lime, egg white and Peychaud bitters.
Host and organiser of the competition Dave Marsland, aka Drinks Enthusiast and Northern Representative of Emporia Brands, mentioned “It’s great to see that the entries were so close that we are able to take two winners to St Lucia. They both join me for what will be an incredible experience, and we look forward to representing Manchester!”
A huge congratulations to both Adam and Tom, who will be visiting St Lucia later in the year and experience rum training at the distinguished distillery, and the chance to share expertise with the island’s enthusiastic bartenders, as well as plenty of opportunity to find out why the beautiful island of St Lucia is one of the world’s favourite Caribbean destinations.
The Winning Entries
Chairman’s Moo – created by Adam Binnersley, Corridor #UnderNewManagment
40 ml Chairman’s Reserve
10 ml Briottet Fig
15 ml Honey and Pistachio Syrup
50 ml Buttermilk
Luciana Helena – created by Tom Higham, Kosmonaut
50 ml Chairman’s Reserve Finest
30 ml Pineapple and sage shrub
15 ml Smoked paprika syrup
25 ml Lime
Dash of Egg white
Dash Peychauds Bitters
From a personal perspective, it was great to be asked to whittle down a quite astonishing list of entries. It was even better to find out that I was doing so alongside Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack who is a well-respected member of the ‘Rum Community’ with both him and his wife Pauline (the other 50% of The Floating Rum Shack) being involved with Rum XP (The International Rum Expert Panel). I’d like to thank Dave Marsland for giving me the opportunity to be involved in the process. Also, as a brief aside, the first and second place entries made it onto my shortlist with the winning entry being the first choice to be added……I can only imagine how good it tasted.
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