The Challenge 25 Cocktail Competition was a immense success and we enjoyed every minute. The bartenders had taken so much care and time to develop their cocktails, Kecia and Mary were overwhelmed with the results. The theme was ‘Across The Atlantic’ - tying in with Kecia’s move to the UK, the heart of the Never.25 story. Each bartender created or relived a story they connected with the Never.25 brand and from there developed eight delicious and moorish cocktails.
Helping Kecia with the judging was Ryan Rhodes from Deeside Brewery and Twin Rivers Distillery and Sean Moggach from 99 Bar and Kitchen and infamous All Night Passion. They provided the expertise within bartending, looking at technique, ingredients and presentation of cocktail, while Kecia enjoyed tasting, keeping a close eye on that all important Never.25 addition to each cocktail.
There could only be one winner though; and that was Mr Adrian Forde Beggs - an Aberdeen bartending local. Adrian works in Orchid, one of Scotland’s most renowned bars for fantastic cocktails and service. Adrian's cocktail, ‘Lady on The Plane’ centred around the Wizard of Oz film, including lemon sherbet from ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ as an ingredient to marry in Never.25’s Raspberry Eau de Vie. The presentation and technique of this cocktail was outstanding. The ingredients has been brilliantly thought out, including a Coconut Oil fatwashed Porter’s Gin and Flat Cava and Fino Sherry Blend. It was clear to our judges, Adrian understood what he was making.
Following closely behind, Kesia McHardy came second with ‘The Lost Lagoon’ using Never.25 Apple Eau de Vie, Hibiscus/Blue Pea Flower Syrup and Fernet Branca. A gorgeous looking cocktail with a lavender finish around the glass, and frozen ice flowers.
In joint third, Daniel Elpinstone and Nathaniel Hampton produced some brilliant cocktails. Nate brought a huge amount of showmanship to his cocktail which was fantastic to watch and his cocktail introduced some intriguing ingredients and techniques, which fascinated our judges.
Daniel’s presentation coincided with the Titanic film, and his cocktail recipe displayed excellent technique and skill, which really enhanced the Never.25 Apple Eau de Vie.