Winning gin

Matthew Steeples of ‘The Steeple Times’ joins the judging panel of the No. 3 London Dry Gin 2013 competition

 

Last week, I was invited to sit on a panel that many of my friends would envy a position on by Berry Bros. & Rudd. I was asked to judge gin cocktails.

 

Accompanied by my photographer friend and fellow gin lover, John Stoddart, I got to sample nine gin based cocktails made by bartenders from bars in London and Brighton in the cellars of Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchants.

 

Four of the cocktails created by the nine contestants
A cocktail named His Majesty’s Vigour was especially cleverly presented on a tray with an image of King William III

Hosted as part of No. 3 London Dry Gin’s “Hit The Right Key” challenge, participating bartenders were invited to create a new spin on the classic G&T. The entries were varied and, in the main, impressive. One creatively even incorporated an oyster into his recipe and another developed a twist on the Negroni that I wholeheartedly enjoyed.

 

The judging panel and the two first place winners, Charles of Nola in London and Ehren from Merkaba Bar in Brighton
The judges at work
The first place winner from Brighton: Ehren of Merkaba Bar
The first place winner from London: Charles of Nola Bar
Alfie of COLD Bar won overall second place in the contest (and also was the main photographer of the event)
Simon Robinson of Brewery Tap in Brighton secured overall third place

The final of the competition will be hosted at the No. 3 Bar at the Royal Albert Hall on the 17th June. They’re undoubtedly be a few cheers heard in Kensington that day.

 

For more information about No. 3 London Dry Gin click here.

 

 

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