Cardrona Distillery crowns cocktail champion

Following the grand final in New Zealand, Francesco Cercato of London’s Scarfes Bar has been crowned the winner of Cardrona Distillery’s inaugural cocktail competition.

The contest was split into three rounds: a social media heat to select regional finalists; 10 regional finals across the UK and New Zealand to select the final 12 competitors; and the grand final in Cardrona Valley.

The final of the competition took place in the Cardrona Valley on 18 September, where Cercato took first place for his cocktail Small, but Growing.

Rachel Lavalette, marketing director, Cardrona Distillery, commented: “We were thrilled with the huge amount of entries received in our first ever cocktail competition, and we have massively enjoyed getting to know our regional and grand finalists, as well as our judges, on their journey with Cardrona spirits.

“We were blown away by the storytelling, the connections made to the brand and the passion for our spirits.”

Kye Hamilton, of Hawksmoor in Edinburgh, Scotland, scooped second place with his drink The Great Pavlovian Debate.

Third place was awarded to Alex Hudson, of Wonderhorse Bar in Hamilton, New Zealand, with his concoction Belafonte.

The final award of the contest, the Country Cup, was secured by Team UK.

The other finalists comprised: Ewan Grive, Lab 22 in Cardiff, UK; Daniel Kaizen, Disrepute in London, UK; Georgii Ellis, Commonroom in Bath, UK; Amy Edgley, Farrands Bar in Leeds, UK; David Fisher, Cinderella in Wellington, New Zealand; Martyn Wood, Amazonita in Christchurch, New Zealand; PJ Renaud, Parasol & Swing in Auckland, New Zealand; Emma Dean, Broken Lantern in Auckland, New Zealand; and Ben Stewardson, Reds Bar in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Judging the final were: Ben Alcock, bartender and bar entrepreneur in Bristol, of HMSS & Filthy VXIII; Mikey Ball, formerly of Dandelyan and Milk & Honey in London, who boasts more than 10 years of hospitality experience; and Tash McGill, an international spirits writer, judge and educator.

In March this year, Cardrona Distillery appointed Tom Sutton as its UK brand ambassador.

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Author: Melita Kiely