For the 5th consecutive year we held our annual UKBG Open Day. A great afternoon of imbibing at Bar So and Royal Exeter Hotel in central Bournemouth started at 12pm opening the door to everyone, with a delicious buffet aperitif. The response was overwhelming with people travelling from all over the Country from Hampshire, West and East Sussex, Somerset, Coventry, Kent, Manchester and London.

Our “Dragons Den” Judging panel were Simon Webster from Bar Life Magazine, Dave Marsland from Drinks Enthusiast, Maciej Urbanski the UKBG National Champion 2014 from Harvey Nichols 5th Floor Bar London and “The Curious Bartender” Tristan Stephenson. Their task was to find a winner from the 12 victors selected earlier during our De Kuyper Weird Mystery Box cocktail competition on the 27th of October, so as you can imagine, the standard was sky high and made it a very difficult challenge for our well-known judges.

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The UKBG delivered a positive message to everyone about what the National Bar trade has to offer. The day was full of meeting up with new and old like-minded cohorts discovering high quality drinks brands and watching a magnificent cocktail competition.

At the same event we launched The Meridian Bartenders League a development of the Bournemouth Bartenders League under the wings of Salvatore Damiano and James Fowler.

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Third place winner was Harry King from the Library Bar in South Bourne (Bournemouth) with his “Currant superstitions” concoction.

45ml Jura superstition
15ml PX sherry
10ml Crème de Cassis
2 dashes of plum bitters
1 dash of absinthe

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Sam Fraser from Southampton came second with his “Homely Smoke” cocktail inspired by home.

40ml Three Barrels
15ml Amaretto Luxardo
8ml Bowmore whisky
Stirred and served….
1/2 Bar spoon of Sussex honey,
3 dashes of angostura and the oak smoke from the smoking gun.
Garnished with smoking stick of birch bark and orange peel

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Our winner was Marco Brivio from the Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells, Kent with his winning recipe “The Alliance Sur lie” inspired by Remy Martin distillation. It is the second consecutive year that the prize goes to the Du Vin Hotel Group and Remy Martin.

37.5ml of Remy V.S.O.P.
12.5ml Crème de Figue
12.5ml Crème de Noisette
3-4 drops grapefruit bitter
Lemon zest as decoration

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Special thanks goes to Lisa O’ Brian and Nectar as main sponsor and Elin Emilov and the Royal Exeter Hotel staff for their hospitality.

Our other sponsors on the day were Wray and Nephew, Windfall brands, Ellis-wines, Hygia, Frobisher, Pernod Ricard, Orchard Pig, Diageo, Speciality Brands, Sheperd Neame, Fentimans, Conker Gin, William Grant, Maxxium, Nectar Imports,Langleys Gin ,Fever Tree, Cellar Trends, Naked Jam, Whyte and Mackay and Marussia Beverages.

Salvatore Damiano

South Area Chairman

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