Sunday 22 September 2013

Glenfiddich "The Pioneers" Cocktail Competition

It might have been a Monday night, but you couldn't tell from the way Sydney's Old Growler was heaving under the weight of another fantastic William Grant & Sons / Glenfiddich party.

We were all there to celebrate the Glenfiddich "Pioneers" cocktail competition and crown the winner. In a nutshell, some of Australia's best bartenders were asked to devise two "pioneering" whisky cocktails, inspired by a famous innovator or entrepreneur. The finalists' cocktails were then entered into the competition, and have also become part of a book to be distributed with bottles of Glenfiddich in the coming months (we've seen the full book and it looks great).

The ten finalists spent the final day of competition in Northern NSW before flying back to Sydney (by chopper of all things) for the announcement of the winner. While waiting for the announcements everyone enjoyed four (very different) cocktails from the booklet, along with fantastic canapés including Scotch Eggs and kangaroo.

The four cocktails on offer were:
  • RED RIGHT HAND (my favourite) - Glenfiddich 12 Year Old stirred with Antica  Formula, Campari and Joseph Catron Apricot (Evan Stanley, Black Pearl, Melbourne)
  • DOUBLE BUCK - Glenfiddich 15 Year Old shaken with cinnamon sugar and floated on a layer of Cherry Brandy (Blake Schill, Ravesi's, Sydney)
  • THE STAGS JULEP (Steph's favourite) - A minty concoction of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old  with salted caramel (Daniel Monk, The Toff in Town, Melbourne)
  • WISE OLD SAGE - A tall drink with Glenfiddich 12 Year and pear juice with a sage leaf garnish (James Connolly, Rockpool, Perth).

After plenty of the aforementioned food and cocktails, it was down to business as James Buntin (who should be no stranger to readers of this blog) announced the four winners:

  • 1st – Evan Stanley, Black Pearl, Melbourne
  • 2nd – Adam Bastow, Black Coffee Lyrics, Surfers Paradise
  • 3rd – Chad Hanson, Eden Dining Room and Bar, Adelaide
  • 4th – Phoenix Naman, Palmer and Co, Sydney

Evan and Adam will travel to Scotland to visit Glenfiddich (which speaking from experience is a brilliant experience) whilst Chad and Phoenix will take part in a Central Australian outback challenge involving outback quad-biking and of course Glenfiddich.

We all continued to enjoy cocktails and Glenfiddich well into the night and apart from a brief incident involving a candle and someone's handbag (which luckily Steph noticed well before the owner!) it was a fantastic night. Another success for the WG&SWeber Shandwick team.

 - Martin.

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