Words by: Difford's Guide
Photography by: Southern Comfort
The folks at Southern Comfort are on the search for the 2019 Southern Showdown champion. Bartenders from across the UK are invited to enter their signature serve, to be in with a chance to win one of two places on an amazing trip to experience Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.
The entry period closes on 31 March, so don't delay.
The Southern Showdown is back for 2019, this year looking for not one but two deserving winners!
The Whitesmith Cobbler, by Lee Jones, 2018 Southern Showdown champion
Bartenders are invited to demonstrate the spirit of M.W. Heron, Southern Comfort's creator, by presenting a signature Southern Comfort serve which is flavoursome, replicable and tells a great story.
As well as a delicious cocktail, the judges will be looking for competitors to showcase their overall bartending skills.
Cocktails submitted online will be judged on their originality, taste, name and story, appearance and scalability. A maximum of 100 points are up for grabs and the breakdown by criteria can be found on the Southern Showdown website.
Two bartenders from each UK region with the highest scores will go through to the Bartenders Challenge. This is a day at the Hi-Spirits bar where competitors will be tested on all aspects of their bartending skills. It's not only great cocktails the judges are looking for but how well bartending skills such as hosting, knowledge, composure, creativity and speed are demonstrated.
The top four bartenders emerging from the Bartenders Challenge will then have the opportunity to showcase their skills and cocktail when they go head-to-head at the Southern Showdown Grand Final onboard the Dixie Queen paddle steamer as it travels up the Thames.
Lee Jones, 2018 Southern Showdown champion
Two winners will then be crowned. The Southern Showdown Champion will be selected by a panel of top industry judges and The People's Champion will be voted for by all onboard the Dixie Queen.
The two winners will receive the trip of a lifetime to visit New Orleans, the spiritual home of Southern Comfort, during Tales of Cocktail in July 2019. The prize includes flights, accommodation, tickets to Tales of the Cocktail, a swamp tour and a tour of New Orleans best cocktail bars.
Head over to the Southern Showdown website for more information on the competition, and the online entry form.
Good luck y'all!