If you possess dazzling bartending skills, a wizard’s knowledge of mixology and can flare with flair, then it’s time to put your talent to good use!
Entries for UK bartending events are starting to open once again.
Not only great for your CV, bartending competitions provide a great opportunity to raise your profile in the industry and maybe even bag some great prizes from mentoring and all-expenses-paid trips abroad to bags of cash!
So, what are you waiting for? Here’s our pick of the best competitions for the year ahead…
UKBG National Cocktail Competition
Celebrating modern bartending and innovation at its very best, the UK Bartenders Guild hosts one of the most prestigious cocktail competitions in the industry. Last year, Elysa McGuire from Below Stairs in Leeds was crowned the champion, impressing the judges with her twist on the classic Old Fashioned.
Last year’s prize was a one year UK guest bartending tour and personal mentoring programme with Peter Dorelli, as well as acting as an ambassador at the global event in China. Keep checking the UKBG website for announcement dates for 2019.
Diageo World Class GB Competition
Held in high regard within the industry, World Class is all about developing, educating and inspiring bartending talent. There’s a strong emphasis on creating exceptional cocktails as well as delivering outstanding service and a memorable experience.
As a prelude to the competition, they are holding World Class studios throughout the UK in February and March. The UK finalist wins a package worth £15,000 in support and goes on to represent their country in a global final - last year this took place in Berlin on 6 October. To get involved, visit: theworldclassclub.com.
Monkey Shoulder – Ultimate Bartender Championship
Combining industry knowledge with practical skills, the Ultimate Bartender Championship is a fun event. Last year, competitors took up challenges from March, culminating in the finals in London in September. Unlike many of the other competitions, you don’t have to be a professional to take part, as long as you have a passion for the art of bartending! The highest scoring bartender wins a trip to the Athens Bar Show. For more information, visit their website – still awaiting 2019 details.
Chivas Regal Cocktail Competition
This global competition begins with national competitions in 22 countries. You enter, yo must submit a Chivas Regal cocktail recipe inspired by an element of your local community, and also the person who inspired the drink. Winners will be whisked off to ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ in New Orleans for an all-expenses-paid trip, as well as travel to the Chivas Masters Global Competition. The UK finals took place in April last year, but the site is awaiting an update for 2019. For further information, visit chivas.com.
Although we’re still awaiting details for this year’s competition, if it’s anything like previous years, it’s set to be an exciting event. Bartenders start by creating a cocktail inspired by their own city. Following a UK final, the winner will be send to the global finals, competing head-to-head with 30 other country finalists. This usually takes place in London, the home of Beefeater Gin. As well as the accolade of best global bartender, the winner gets to work with industry legend Desmond Payne. Stay up-to-date on their website for more details at beefeatermixldn.com.
Other Notable Events
If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, here’s a few more international events, for those looking to spread their cocktail wings:
- Diageo Reserve World Class
- The Monin Cup Global – Paris, France
- Lady Amarena – Italy
- The Tahons Society Cocktail Competition – Mexico
- Ophir World Adventure Cocktail Competition – Istanbul, Turkey
- Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition
- Bols Around the World – Amsterdam
- USBG Most Imaginative Bartender Competition - USA