Words by: Jane Ryan
To celebrate two years of running a successful bar and distillery in the heart of London, The City of London Distillery invited bartenders to submit their ultimate gin recipe for the COLD Cocktail Competition 2014.
COLD is owned by Jonathan Clark, a former pub owner in the area, who turned a disused basement space into a thriving gin and cocktail bar complete with its own distillery, producing a stunning seven-botanical gin of which Jonathan is the distiller.
For their second anniversary the bar and distillery held a cocktail competition, with the prize to create your own gin at the distillery, making 50 bottles to take away and another 50 to be sold at the bar.
On November 10th, 11 bartenders presented their drink to the a panel of judges, which included Fabrice Limon, a brand development specialist, Nick Caputo, the bar manager at COLD and UK Chartreuse ambassador, Emma Stokes, a.k.a Gin Monkey, and Jane Ryan from Difford's Guide.
The standard was incredibly high, with some phenomenal drinks being presented. Bartenders utilised a plethora of ingredients and mixed cocktails which allowed COLD's gin to shine through. Ultimately, however, only three competitors could go through to the final round which saw Lucille Carter from the Churchill Bar and Wayne Chapman and Omar Impax, both from City Social, given a timed challenge to come up with a gin cocktail using any ingredients behind the bar as long as 35ml of COLD gin was the base.
After five minutes the three finalists presented their quickly dreamt up recipes and the judges went into deliberation on who should be given the chance to create their very own spirit.
Eventually it was Lucille who impressed the judges with her balanced cocktails, her imaginative take on the timed challenge and her presentational flair.
Garnish: Mint sprig
Method: Shake ingredients over ice and strain into ice-filled glass. Top up sparkling whole rosebud tea.
50ml City of London Distillery dry gin
25ml fresh lime
30ml grapefruit juice
Top up sparkling whole rosebud tea