Gabriel Boudier's National Wizard Award is a UK competition set up in 2015 by spirits importers, distributors and innovators, Emporia Brands. The competition challenges UK bartenders to come up with an original liqueur or crème using only natural and ethically sourced ingredients. The winner's liqueur is then developed to join Gabriel Boudier's range of award-winning Crème and Bartender liqueurs.
Held once every two years (previous competitions were held in 2015, 2017, and 2019), regional heats are held across the UK with the top four bartenders invited to present their liqueurs at the Grand Final, culminating at the home of Gabriel Boudier in Dijon, France, in January of the following year.
One of the world's leading liqueur brands, Gabriel Boudier is a family-owned brand boasting a portfolio of over 30 crème and liqueur products, including Saffron Gin, Crème de Cassis and Pink Grapefruit.
The first Wizard was Samuel Bouton in 2015/16, who created Kaffir Lime Leaf Liqueur followed by the second Wizard, Maria Vieira, creating a Mustard Liqueur and the third Wizard, Matthew Cussworth with the most recent Nori Seaweed Liqueur.
Competitors are required to create a flavour not presently commercially available in the UK market. The ingredients must be 100% natural and ethically sourced. There is no restriction on how bartenders create their liqueur and methods may include distillation, percolation, infusion and maceration.
Besides the cash prize, the triumphant Wizard receives product development, followed by a launch of their unique liqueur, joining the Gabriel Boudier range and sitting alongside the previous winners.