Judges revealed for Cardrona Club cocktail comp

Cardrona Distillery have revealed the names of the seven UK judges for their inaugural cocktail competition – and a trip to New Zealand awaits for finalists.

In Cardrona Club, bartenders are invited to create a signature cocktail with the Cardrona Distillery product of their choice, highlighting the unique nature of the spirit.

Cardrona’s spirits include the Reid Single Malt Vodka, The Source Pure Cardrona Gin, Rose Rabbit liqueurs (Orange, Elderflower and Butterscotch) and The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky,

A total of 12 bartenders from 10 regional finals held across the UK and New Zealand will be selected to compete at the grand final in Cardrona, New Zealand in September 2022.

The competition is structured as follows:

  • Round one – Social media, 12 entrants from each region will be selected to attend a regional final;
  • Round two – One regional finalist will be selected to attend the grand final;
  • Round three – Six bartenders from the UK and six bartenders from New Zealand will compete for the Cardrona Trophy at the Grand Final.

The UK judges are:

Ben Alcock – National Judge

Accomplished bartender and bar entrepreneur in Bristol. Owner of Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Filthy Xiii. Ben has consulted on and produced drinks for some of the top global brands. Through years of high level competing Ben has made appearances at bars across the globe from London to New York.

Siân Buchan – Edinburgh Judge

Having worked in hospitality around Scotland since she was 18, Sian finally opened her own bar in 2020 in the city centre of Edinburgh. Uno Mas focusses on music and cocktails until 3am, seven days a week!

Becky Paskin – Brighton Judge

Becky Paskin is a freelance drinks journalist, whisky specialist, presenter and consultant, and is former editor of leading online magazine Scotchwhisky.com and global trade title the Spirits Business. Becky is an advocate for breaking down cultural misconceptions about whisky, and is co-founder of Our Whisky.

Andrea Dionori – London Judge

Andrea Dionori brings a huge passion and wealth of experience to the drinks industry, combining full time commitment to his role in sales and purchasing at Milroys of Soho with multiple Brand Ambassador and drinks consultancy projects.

Will Meredith – London Judge

Will Meredith is Head Bartender at Lyaness (formerly Dandelyan, awarded no1 in the World’s Top 50 Bars) and an institution on the global bar scene, famous for its exceptional cocktail creativity and guest experience.

Adrian Whitehouse – Birmingham Judge

Sixteen years’ experience of bartending, wwner of Cottonmouth in Nottingham for four years, Judged the Bumbu Cup, Bulldog Gin Comp and Hi Spirits Classic Cocktail Competitions in Nottingham and London.

Dave Marsland- Manchester Judge

Dave, aka Drinks Enthusias, has 15 years’ experience in bartending, management & ownership, both in on and off-trade sectors. Not only does Dave have a brand agency, but he also owns Manchester Rum Festival and helps curate Northern Restaurant and Bar trade show.

To qualify, Cardrona’s products must be stocked at the bar where the bartender works. A Cardrona cocktail must appear on the bar’s menu between now and March 31. An nline entry form and social post with the cocktail must be be completed by March 31.

Entrants should follow #CardronaComp online. Judges come from a dynamic line up of industry experts are getting involved.

The grand final will be shared as it happens with the winner announced live on social media, and there are some incredible experiences lined up in the stunning Cardrona Valley. This is a once in a lifetime trip.

Further information and entry forms can be found HERE.

Founded in 2015, Cardrona Distillery is nestled in the beautiful Cardrona valley, in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand. All Cardrona spirits are made from grain to glass on site at Cardrona Distillery and start with just three ingredients: pure Cardrona alpine water, malted barley, and distillers’ yeast. Cardrona Distillery is family-owned and operated. The very best equipment has been sourced from the
four corners of the earth, to make great-hand-crafted single malt whisky, gin, single malt vodka and liqueurs.

Founder Desiree Reid has spent years of study, planning and research to establish Cardrona Distillery. She has learned the art and science of distillation from some of the world’s masters and has crafted the
very character that is Cardrona Distillery. Cardrona Distillery is a purpose-built destination distillery offering innovative spirits made using traditional thinking. All bottling, labelling and packaging is fulfilled by hand on site at Cardrona Distillery.

Awards include Winner of IWSR Gold Medal and World’s 50 Best Gins, World’s 50 best vodkas, 2020 and 2021 Category Winner in World Whisky Awards. Cardrona Distillery also features in the latest Lonely Planet Global Distillery Tour guide, Dave Broom’s book on gin, Ian Buxton’s 101 craft whiskies to have before you die, 2020 and 2021 editions of Ingvar Ronde’s Malt Whisky Yearbook.

Find out more about how to enter HERE.