UKBG National Cocktail Competition 2018

This competition is now closed. We would like to again thank all participants for their entry and support together with Mr Fogg’s for their hospitality and Woodford Reserve, the competition sponsor as we congratulate Elysa McGuire from Below Stairs in Leeds who took 1st place on the day.
Head over to Difford’s Guide to read the full competition recap.

UKBG National Cocktail Competition

This competition is now closed. Head over to Difford’s Guide to read the full competition recap.


Dear Bartender,

Today more than ever, the knowledge of classic cocktails is both vital and fundamental for our industry. Since the very beginning of modern bartending, the UKBG wise and romantic custodian has contributed to preserve and pass from generations to generations such immense wealth.

We respect tradition and embrace innovation at the same time, perfecting the noble art of cocktail mixing and so in collaboration with Woodford Reserve Whiskey, we are delighted to announce the 2018 UKBG National Cocktail Competition (NCC’18) on November 1st 2018, with a big focus on North American Classic Cocktails (venue TBC).

To rediscover such a great category we are searching the UK to find the top 20 “Twist on an Old Fashioned” recipes using at least 40ml Woodford Reserve Whiskey Bourbon, Rye or Double Oak per cocktail.

Download an entry form to get started. This competition is now closed. Head over to Difford’s Guide to read the full competition recap.


Create your Twist on the Classic, using a full free expression of ingredients and flavours presenting our judging panel with 2 serves of your Twist on an Old Fashioned in 7 minutes. Competitors and their drink will be judged on the following criteria: appearance, aroma, taste, knowledge, presentation skills, name, story-telling, technical execution and relevance to the competition brief.

With courtesy of Woodford Reserve, the Rye and Double Oak Whiskey editions will be provided on the day. You have only to bring your personal ingredients, tools, glassware and what you believe is the best innovation to perfect the most iconic Whiskey Classic Cocktail.

The 6 competitors with the highest scores from the qualification stage will be invited to participate in the Woodford Reserve North American Classics: The Final.

Each finalist will be asked to demonstrate in ten minutes one of the best North American Bourbon Classic Cocktails (Boulevardier, Old Pal, NY Sour, Manhattan, Julep, Smash) picked at random by our Judges and remake their “Twist on an Old Fashioned” at the same time, telling the origins of the drink.

We highly recommend you research and study prior to the day of competition as your passion and knowledge will be tested.

Glasses, a selection of ingredients, vermouth and bitters will be provided by the UKBG workshop on the day for this stage.



The outright winner will be the person that achieves the highest score across the following criteria: appearance, aroma, taste, balance, temperature, dilution and knowledge surrounding the origins of the classics.

The ultimate prize will be a one year UK guest bartending tour and personal mentoring program with Peter Dorelli, meeting our national ambassadors across the country and representing the UKBG at the 2019 IBA World Cocktail Competition in Cheng Du – China, additional training on international rules will be provided by Salvatore Damiano.

Download an entry form, add your recipe and return the completed form to by the 20th October 2018 with the subject line: Woodford Reserve & UKBG NCC-18.This competition is now closed. Head over to Difford’s Guide to read the full competition recap.

“This is an opportunity to join the UKBG, meet the best of our industry and most importantly have a memorable and fun day. You do need to be a current member of the UKBG to enter. Membership is free and you can sign-up or renew your membership here”  Salvatore Damiano  |  President of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild

Competition sponsored by Woodford Reserve Whiskey

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