Every year, for the last 7 years, global drinks giant Diageo has hosted a worldwide cocktail competition pitting the champions of dozens of nations against each other for the title of World Class Bartender of the Year. Bartenders strut their stuff through various rounds of regional heats comprising of hundreds of incredibly creative individuals before national champions are crowned. Those champions are then flown out to an exotic location to pit their wits in speed, knowledge, taste, creativity and service before an expert panel of judges. This year I thought I’d take a crack at it.
I have no mad delusions that I’ll be standing before a crowd with a world title a year from now. But the competition provides me with a unique opportunity to test my bar skills, get creative and not only embrace all the various cocktail trends i’ve built up at Rub but also get a little bit out of my comfort zone. This year’s first round theme is “mindful drinking” built around creating a aperitif or digestif serve with a nod towards seasonal flavours, mindful drinking trends and the customers that make Rub so great.
So with Rub’s love for sweet flavours and our American essence, I decided creating a digestif drink built around Bourbon and ever so slightly on the sweet side was the best way to go. But the drink still needed to be “Rub-esque” and needed to celebrate those flavours and those elements that everyone’s come to expect from cocktails at our bars & restaurants. That’s when my idea hit me. A seasonal play on words, a little nod to my shakespearean family name and a big cheesy hit of Disco. “The Winter of our Discotech” combines Bulleit Bourbon with a Harvey’s Pedro Ximenez sherry which has a lovely aged dried fruit, molasses and nutty flavour. We then add a syrup comprising of Macadamia Nuts, Figs and Star Anise to enhance those wintery flavours and add a little hint of spice. Lastly we finish with some Cardamom Bitters.
The drink is served in a beautiful, crystal old fashioned glass with a “discoball-bauble” and a glowstick. It’s served up on an old Record and finished with a spritz of peaty scotch for a smokey nose. If you can handle your booze and are a fan of drinks like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds then it’s a nice alternative.
The cocktail is available at both our venues for the next 5 weeks. Grab a selfie of you and your drink and share it with us at @rubyourselfie on facebook, twitter and instagram with the hashtag #worldclass2016 and #worldclasscocktails and stand the chance to win some lovely christmas cocktail prizes.