Good spirits all round – UK’s ice king of cocktails revealed8th July 2016
Spirits were high yesterday as Thomas Cole, from Dirty Martini UK, was crowned as the UK’s top bartender after emerging victorious at the inaugural Cocktails on Ice competition held by leading ice maker, Ice-O-Matic, at Imbibe Live in London.
Scooping the stunning prize of a coveted stay at Sweden’s renowned IceHotel, Thomas, was one of four Finalists to go head-to-head at yesterday’s event, compered by Love Company’s renowned Russell Burgess. Spectators were held enthralled by the talent for mixology that the four demonstrated – not to mention the ingenious and exceptional use of ice that was evidenced in the cocktails
Thomas’s cool cocktail – ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, was inspired by a passion for all things Scandinavian, and consisted of ‘Scandi’ ingredients such as Koskenkorva Lingonberry Vodka, Brännland Iscider, Tåpped Birch Water, Lingonberry & Bilberry Bitter which were then assembled in the colours of the Swedish flag; (blue and yellow). The ice, a stunning shade of deep blue was frozen at an angle to form a ‘divide’ and was infused with Butterfly Pea flowers and Miracle Berry powder. The cocktail was garnished with two salted liquorice bon-bons dipped and frozen in sweet liquorice sauce on a yellow heart skewer.
The judging panel included leading industry experts, Eoin Kenny of Ham Yard Hotel, Wendy Stoklasova from Oblix at The Shard, Clara-Louise Paul of Rocket Restaurants & Bars, and Imbibe‘s Clinton Cawood. Together the judges were looking for an inventive use of ice, a good balance of flavours and a clear and confident presentation of their creation to the audience.
Judge Eoin Kenny, Bar Manager Ham Yard Hotel commented on the winning cocktail:
“I was impressed with Thomas’s use of ice and the way the flavour developed, revealing the citrus notes and also the value add that the bon-bons offered which was a really great touch. The presentation was well-thought through, spot-on in terms of the brief and brilliantly related to the prize itself.”
Compere Russell Burgess commented:
“The standard was ‘sky high. All four contestants were superb and it was a tough call for the judges. The competitors kept totally on brief when it came to the innovative use of ice and we saw some real out-of-the-box creativity here. Thomas Cole has to be commended for his cocktail – it was a stunner.”
Speaking on behalf of Ice-O-Matic, Adam Lenton, commented:
“Original competitions like this encourage the industry to push boundaries. It’s easy to take ice for granted but what the contestants ably demonstrated here was that the use of ice can actually provide an incredible opportunity for creativity and theatre. I would like to say well done to all the contestants – they were an inspiration to everyone that was watching”.
In close second place was Maja Jaworska of the White Lyan with her Electric Blue Boogaloo delivering a delightful flavour and colour combination inspired by the famous 70’s cocktail Pina Colada. The judges were impressed by Maja’s precision, presentation and attention to detail.
The competition, held by Ice-O-Matic one of the leading ice machine makers, was designed to transform the bar competition scene and was open to anyone over the age of 18 currently working in the UK Hospitality Industry.
For more information on Ice-O-Matic and the ‘Cocktails on Ice’ competition please go to: www.cocktailsonice.com.