Scotland’s Caorunn Gin just wrapped the early rounds of their cocktail competition. The event followed a standard format, but with a little swicheroo action. The aptly named 10 Year Switch challenge will result crown winners in the States as well as the United Kingdom and then provide them with the opportunity to swap roles, Freaky Friday style. This week we learned the finalists and recipes from the American side of the pond.
Chris Bidmead (Blue Quarter, New York, NY), Jacee Coelho (Travelle at The Langham in Chicago, IL), Scott Jenkins (Hide Bar, Dallas, TX), Caitlyn Moorhead (The Winslow, New York, NY), and Chris Olivier (The Tasting Room at Rock Brothers, Tampa, Florida) all advanced to the final round.
The showdown, organized to celebrate Caorunn’s first decade of distilling, tapped the legendary Gas Regan to judge contestants on four criteria: expression of Scottish & American roots; spotlighting the brand (of course) by using one of the gin’s botanicals; balance and flavoring the drink; and presentation & aesthetics.
“While judging the cocktails in the Caorunn Gin cocktail competition, I was blown away by how the bartenders took on this challenge — specifically to create new drinks that showed off the many different directions while being guided by the various botanicals used to make this fabulous, and unique, gin,” said Regan in a statement. “Picking the five finalists was, in itself, a challenge for me, but I’m extremely happy with the drinks we’ve picked and excited to see the finalists when they compete in New York.”
The finals will take place in NYC in July. Regan will return to judge along with celebrated barman Ryan Chetiyawardana (a.k.a.’Mr Lyan’) Caorunn Gin Master Simon Buley. The US winner and the UK winner will swap jobs and city as part of a temporary exchange program.
Check out the winning US cocktails below.
Caitlyn Moorhead (Drink pictured above)
- Combine all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass.
- Stir and fine strain into a small coupe.
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
- Stir ingredients in a rocks glass with a single cube of clear ice.
- Garnish: Core an apple into a long rectangle; remove seeds if desired.
- Muddle the blackberries in vanilla syrup.
- Build ingredients dry in a shaker.
- Add 1-inch cubed ice and double shake with the egg white.
- Double strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with Lemon Swath Curve & Blackberry.
Five From Home
- Combine all ingredients except soda into a tin.
- Whip shake, and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass.
- Top with soda.
- Garnish with Dandelion flower
- Muddle the bitters, extract and lavender syrup with orange and grapefruit zest.
- Add Caorunn then one large ice cube and stir in a double rocks glass.
- Garnish with a twist of grapefruit and orange wrapped around a dandelion leaf