2019 final
2019 final

2019 final image 1

2019 final

Following regional heats in the UK which lead to a final held at the home of Gabriel Boudier in Dijon, France, the triumphant Wizard of the 2019 Gabriel Boudier Wizard Awards was announced.

Gabriel Boudier challenged bartenders across the UK to create a unique liqueur not commercially available in the market, and as in previous years, the ingredients had to be natural and ethically sourced.

With regional heats held in September and October 2019, three bartenders earned their spot at the final, plus one Wild Card finalist.

The competition culminated at the Gabriel Boudier distillery in Dijon, France, on 27 January 2020, where the four finalists presented their liqueurs to the panel of judges comprised of Master Wizards of Gabriel Boudier.

While finalists showcased their liqueur in two recipes: a signature serve and a simple serve, they were also judged on their marketing plan to launch their liqueur.

Congratulations to Matthew Cusworth, of Hoot the Redeemer in Edinburgh, who was named the winning Wizard. Matthew was awarded the grand prize of £1,000 and will go on to work in partnership with Gabriel Boudier to refine his Nori Seaweed Liqueur recipe before its launch in the UK later in 2020.

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Matthew Cusworth, the Gabriel Boudier Wizard champion, said, "It was an incredible and humbling experience being able to present my Wizard entry to the Gabriel Boudier family at their home in Dijon. It was surreal to tour their incredible facilities and to think my liqueur idea will become a reality here – being produced side by side with some amazing products!"

Now, for the four competitors, their liqueurs and recipes, take a look below.

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Matthew Cusworth - the winning Wizard

Hoot the Redeemer, Edinburgh

Liqueur - Nori Seaweed Liqueur

Matthew created his Nori Seaweed Liqueur using nori, dulse, lime peel and grapefruit peel.

Signature Serve - The Kanagawa Cocktail

50ml RinQuinQuin Peach Aperitif
25ml Nori Seaweed Liqueur
10ml Oloroso Sherry
A dash of Mount Fuji Bitters

Stir the ingredients and strain into a Nick & Nori glass, garnish with origami crane aromatised with peaty whisky.

Simple Serve - Skye-Ball

25ml Talisker 10yo
15ml Nori Seaweed Liqueur
Top with soda water.

Build ingredients in a highball glass and garnish with samphire.

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Lorenzo Gavelli - Wizard of the South

The Chambers at The Chamberlain Hotel, London

Liqueur - Pandan Leaf Liqueur

Lorenzo showcased the unique flavour of fresh Pandan leaves in his liqueur.

Signature Serve - Negroni

25ml Pandan Leaf Liqueur
25ml Campari
25ml London Dry Gin

Build in a rocks glass and garnish with a wedge of orange.

Simple Serve - High Ball

50ml Pandan Leaf Liqueur
100ml Fentimans Tropical Soda
A squeeze of lime

Build in a highball glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

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Luke Bensley - Wizard of the North

Legna, Birmingham

Liqueur - Beetroot Liqueur

Luke's Beetroot Liqueur was created with beetroot, sarsaparilla, star anise and apple juice.

Signature Serve - Beetroot Mocha

25ml Beetroot Liqueur
25ml Gabriel Boudier Cacao
25ml Espresso
25ml Simple syrup

Simple Serve - Beetroot & Tonic

50ml Beetroot Liqueur
Top with Aromatic Tonic Water

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Dominic Saunders - Wild Card

Royal Academy of Music, London

Liqueur - Chipotle & Pineapple Liqueur

Dominic created his liqueur using light rum, dried chipotle and fresh pineapple.

Signature Serve - Papa Don Preach

25ml Pineapple & Chipotle Liqueur
35ml Don Papa Rum
25ml Lime juice
20ml Sugar syrup
Fresh Pineapple juice
2 dashes of Choc bitters

Shake and strain into a Tiki rocks glass, garnish with dehydrated pineapple, three cut and shaped pineapple leaves and grated dark chocolate on top.

Simple Serve - Pineapple & Chipotle & Rhubarb Tonic

50ml Pineapple & Chipotle Liqueur
2 dashes of peach bitters
Top with Rhubarb Tonic Water

Serve in a tall glass with cubed ice, garnish with mint sprigs and lime wedge.