Words by: Jane Ryan
Three friends, one week, a mountain of Scotch and a bar to call your own. This is an opportunity to prove your bartending prowess for longer than a mere ten minute cocktail presentation. Instead you’ll be getting behind the stick, serving great tasting cocktails and delivering epic bartender chat alongside two friends.
Sounds like a competition not to be missed, after all what bartender hasn't dreamt of designing their dream bar? Now, before you dust off your rotavap and bring out your homemade esoteric liqueur no one has heard of, we repeat: this competition isn't your typical one-bartender-with-one-cocktail-wins type of affair, hence the general tone of excitement.
Instead Monkey Shoulder are looking for a team of three bartenders who can run a bar, get customers drinking Scotch, keep the laughs coming and the drinks following. For this you need to be a good bartender each night of the week, not just for ten minutes, which is why we think it's a brilliant and honest test of true bartending talent.
So how do you go about entering and hopefully winning the competition? Firstly assemble the strongest team you can. Chose fellow bartenders who can master the art of stocktaking and breaking-down, not just churn out awesome drinks.
Once you've got a solid team together you're going to need to join the twittersphere. As tempting as it can be to watch for celebrity meltdowns, break-ups and gym selfies you're going to have to focus your attention to @MnkyShldrUK who, for the first round, will be sending six questions between 21st April and the 5th May for teams to answer.
Think of it as the ultimate cyber pub quiz. Responses will be scored by a panel of judges and the top three teams from each region will go through to the regional finals.
Here your team will have the chance to impress the judges on your collective bartending ability. The winner of each region will go through to the third round plus along with the overall top runner-up. Taking place at the Wilderness Festival 7th till 10th August, the four teams of finalists will present their bar concepts to the judges. From there, the two teams with the strongest proposals will go on to compete in London at the grand final.
Which, as if getting to go to Wilderness wasn't enough, will be one massive party, as only Monkey Shoulder could throw. At the invitation-only event these two remaining teams will have the chance to prove they've got what it takes to run a successful bar. And it's here the winning team will be crowned, earning the ultimate prize of recognition and glory.
With the competition won the winning team will be given a pop-up bar for the duration of London Cocktail Week, 6th - 12th October.
Still with us? Brilliant, then assemble your team and send your contact details to include:
• Your team name (which will be the name of your bar)
• Your name
• Your mobile number
• Email address for each member of your team
• One postal address
• The twitter account handle for the first round
• Which region you're entering (Edinburgh, Liverpool, London)
You have till 18th April so get cracking and don't miss out on this incredible competition.
To enter, please ensure the following applies to you:
• That you and your entire team are over 18. Eager bar-backs wanting to prove themselves are cool and we salute you, but teams need gun slingers who are legally allowed to serve cocktails to the world.
• That you can make all the key dates, and spend the entirety of LDN Cocktail Week creating & running the best pop-up bar in town.