Christmas 2023 Cocktail Competition
Christmas 2023 Cocktail Competition

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Heering Cherry Christmas Cocktail Competition

Words by Simon Difford

Winners announced!
Our competition to find the best new Heering Cherry Liqueur cocktails inspired by Christmas closed on the 1st of January, and along with our friends at Heering, we have been mixing and sipping the delicious cocktails entered to find the best original cocktail recipes created by professional bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts.

Congratulations to the winners and two runners-up! And many thanks to all who added their Heering Cherry cocktails recipes to Difford's Guide where they remain accessible to other members of our community of Discerning Drinkers.

Click the cocktail names or photographs for the full recipes and story behind each cocktail.

Professional bartender winners

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Winner: Maxime Bruneel, Bar Manager of Hedonist in Osaka, Japan with Cherry on the Cake wins €1,000 euros.



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Runner up: Martha Markham, of Hawksmoor in Liverpool with Sonder wins €500 euros.










Home cocktail enthusiast winners

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Winner: Hans Markau from Germany with Snowpenhagen wins €1,000 euros.



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Runner up: Adina Ewaldz from USA with The Confessor wins €500 euros.








Behind the competition

Cocktails which celebrate or are inspired by special occasions or notable days are always popular and none more so than Christmas. And one of the liqueurs most identified with the festive period, and indeed the winter mouth, is rich, fruity and indulgent cherry liqueur. Established in 1818, Heering is the world's oldest and most awarded cherry liqueur.

With our friends at Heering, we challenged professional bartenders and home cocktail enthusiasts to create a delicious cherry liqueur cocktail that others will want to make and enjoy.

We sought cocktails that are easy to replicate, made using easily available ingredients without the need to pre-combine ingredients. Cocktails entered had to include at least 15ml (½oz) Heering cherry liqueur.

Cocktails based on less than seven ingredients were preferred, but nine was the maximum number permitted, including fruit juices, syrups, drops or dashes. Solid garnishes were not counted as ingredients; neither is an additional spray of citrus fruit zest over the drink if specified as a garnish.

Entries were only be considered where a photograph of the finished cocktail accompanied the recipe.

Judges & judging criteria

The competition was judged by Simon Difford (of this manor), Max de Smit (Heering Global Brand Ambassador), Arno van Eijmeren (founder of Barrelproof Company) and Yolanda Báez (Darling Rooftop Bar, New York).

The most delicious yet easy-to-replicate recipes received the highest scores. As a cocktail's name greatly influences its popularity, the name of each cocktail also impacted the score. Points were awarded as follows:
Taste = 40%
Name = 25%
Ease to replicate = 25%
Broad appeal/potential to become a contemporary classic = 10%

Participating countries

Entrants had to be resident in one of these countries:
Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, UK, USA

Key Dates

20th November 2023 - Competition opened
Midnight Greenwich Mean Time 1st January 2024 – Competition closed
12th January 2024 – Winners informed

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