THE UK'S ULTIMATE BARTENDERJune 20, 2015
The much anticipated verdict is here...the UK's best bartender has been named! Top bartenders from the length and breadth of the county have gone head to head in the Monkey's Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championships to win the much desired title. A crowd of cocktail enthusiasts (myself included) attended the Championship's cocktail-filled Grand Finale to help judge the ultimate winner. The cocktails certainly did bring all the boys (and the girls) to The Yard, Shoredich, where the event was held.
The night saw a three bar face-off, with each team competing for a chance to win an all expenses paid pop-up bar at this year's London Cocktail Week. Earlier rounds of the Monkey's Shoulder Championships had whittled the contenders down to just three teams representing Newcastle, Bristol and Horsham.
Each of the teams (which were three bartenders strong) had to orchestrate a wholly entertaining cocktail experience through atmosphere, entertainment, banter and of course expertly concocted cocktails on a chosen theme. First up we checked out the team named 'Dead Parrot' from Horsham, who's theme was a raucous ‘night at the circus’.
Their aptly named cocktails included 'Bearded Lady', 'Hook a Buck' and 'Tin Can Alley', served up in plastic cups. From their wacky outfits to the amusements, they really nailed the circus theme.
There was even a candy floss stall, much to the delight of myself and the hoards of people who flocked to get their fix of the the sugary, fluffy pink stuff. Everyone seemed to make a beeline straight for the stand on clapping eyes on it, in fact I'm pretty sure the queue for candy floss was longer than the one for cocktails. What is it about candy floss?
Cocktails and candy floss is winning combination if you ask me.
Next up was the The Newcastle team '21st Century Re-amendment' who hosted an undeniably cool 1920s themed prohibition party. From classic cars to a great looming chandelier, these guys really pulled out all of the stops to make it feel a party at Gatsby's.
Finally reppin' the South West were Bristol’s 'Stirred Down and Brown' team who immersed the crowd in the best of the Bristolian West.
There were also some uber-talented artists who created some Money Shoulder themed artwork.