After a lapse of a few years the movers and shakers from the North of Ireland and their opposite numbers from across the water in Scotland decided it was time to hit the cocktail trail again. The date was 10th-11th April and the venue the Crown Hotel in the beautiful village of Portpatrick in south west Scotland.
The weather was fabulous, hot and sunny, just the weather to create a healthy thirst which was very soon quenched, as new friends quickly became old friends.
Guild member Tony Schofield, owner of the Crown, and his brigade served a superb dinner to the assembled crews after which it was time to stretch the legs with a visit to the other watering holes in the village before heading back to the Crown for an evening of cabaret, with a special guest appearance by ‘ Masimo (Mack the Knife) Lisi. His singing wasn’t too bad but his fairy footsteps when he fell over the bands equipment got the loudest applause of the night. Time for bed, to prepare for the morrow.
Breakfast for those who made it down was a true Scottish breakfast, none of your namby pamby vegetarian, organic stuff but delicious bits of sheep, cows and pigs not forgetting the hens before it was off to round up the late risers and the stop outs.
As always the men from Ireland brought that months production of the Northern Ireland Dairy Board and once again Paul Quinn and his team showed the home team how cocktails should be made with a resounding victory of 7 heats to 2.
Our good friends at Maxxium supplied their Breugal Rum from the Dominican Republic as the base spirit and what a superb product it proved to be with a great depth of flavour which blended so well with the other ingredients chosen by each competitor resulting in a lot of super drinks with wide appeal.
Local sales executive Ian MacAulay stepped up to present the Trophy and prizes to the winning team who promptly filled it with the appropriate liquid for all to enjoy.
Ian and myself did some reminiscing, as we had first met almost 40 years ago when he called on me in my bar in Glasgow, he as a young rep on the road and myself in my first position as a manager and licensee. Tempes Fugit !
All too soon it was time to head for home but not of course before another few glasses were emptied, unfortunately none of them mine as I had a three hour drive ahead of me whereas Paddy Cashman only had to steer the ferry across the North Channel, up Belfast Loch and berth it in the River Laggan. Easy.
Sincere thanks to Paul Quinn and his team, to Ian MacAulay and Maxxium, Tony and his squad in Portpatrick, Masimo for putting it together and the Scottish boys from Glasgow, Saint Andrews and Turnberry who all took part.
Here’s to the next time.