Following a countrywide search to identify the most talented bartenders, five leading mixologists, including one from Dallas, have been named U.S. finalists in Caorunn Gin’s international cocktail competition, the 10 Year Switch. The winning U.S. bartender will have an opportunity to switch countries with their winning U.K. counterpart and work guest shifts a top bar to experience U.K. cocktail culture firsthand.
The U.S. finalists set to compete at the international finals on July 31st in New York City are:
1. Chris Bidmead from Blue Quarter in New York, NY with the ‘5 from home’
2. Jacee Coelho from Travelle at The Langham in Chicago, IL with the ‘Pure Berry’
3. Scott Jenkins from Hide Bar in Dallas, TX with the ‘Bog Standard’ (recipe below)
4. Caitlyn Moorhead from The Winslow in New York, NY with ‘Gincident Report’
5. Chris Olivier from The Tasting Room at Rock Brothers in Tampa, Florida with ‘Caorunn Calling’
The international finals in New York City will include five bartenders each from the U.S. and the U.K. They will be judged by an expert panel led by Ryan Chetiyawardana (also known as ‘Mr Lyan’), founder of Dandelyan and Cub and one of the world’s most influential bartenders; Caorunn Gin Master Simon Buley; and the Godfather of Cocktails, Gaz Regan. One winner will be chosen from each country, both receiving an international prize– the opportunity to switch countries and work in one of the coolest bars in London and New York City so they may experience U.K. and American culture at their finest.
The champions will also receive the honor of having their 10 Year Switch cocktail named as Caorunn’s signature serve in bars across their respective country.
The 10 Year Switch international cocktail competition was created to celebrate Caorunn Gin’s 10-year anniversary, which takes place this summer. The competition to meant to provide bartenders across the United States and the United Kingdom a once in a lifetime opportunity to build their personal profile on an international platform by showcasing their cocktail creativity to the world.
Gaz Regan, acclaimed author, judged the US entries against four distinct categories: the fusion of Scottish heritage and American influence; accentuation of the character of Caorunn Gin by taking inspiration from at least one of its five Celtic botanicals; its well-balanced and crafted taste profile; and the distinctiveness of serve through its visual appeal and creative presentation.
“While judging the cocktails in the Caorunn Gin cocktail competition, I was blown away by how the bartenders took on this challenge — specifically to create new drinks that showed off the many different directions while being guided by the various botanicals used to make this fabulous, and unique, gin,” said Regan. “Picking the five finalists was, in itself, a challenge for me, but I’m extremely happy with the drinks we’ve picked and excited to see the finalists when they compete in New York.”
Dallas Finalist: Scott Jenkins
Created by Scott Jenkins of Hide in Dallas, TX
for Caorunn Gin’s 10 Year Switch
1 oz. Caorunn Gin
½ oz. Laird’s Applejack Brandy
¾ oz. Cocchi Torino
¾ oz. Old Pulteney Stroma Single Malt Liqueur
¾ oz. Citrus tonic
1 bar spoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
Directions: Stir ingredients in a rocks glass with a single cube of ice.
Garnish: Core an apple into a long rectangle; remove seeds if desired
On creating Bog Standard, Jenkins commented, “I was inspired most by the spice of bog myrtle, which to me was very akin to allspice dram. I wanted soft heather notes, taken from the Stroma, and a bit of apple borrowed from Applejack. This drink is lush and soft, highlighting and enhancing the components of Caorunn Gin. Stirred to perfection and poured over a single cube, for slow sipping, and good times. I lived in England for over three years, and visited Scotland many times, the lush scenery reminds me a lot of this cocktail.”