Edinburgh at Christmas
Edinburgh at Christmas

Whisky helps bartenders to see the world

A Scotch whisky is helping bartenders from the best bars in the world swap locations for four days of exploration and discovery.

Blended malt Naked Grouse has announced the return of its LiBARating Swap programme, which will focus on the Future of the Whisky Serve encouraging participating bartenders to devise a cocktail that they believe encapsulates the future of the Scotch serve.

As part of the swap, Naked Grouse is also committing to training 150 new bartenders to inspire the next generation of whisky drinkers.

Naked Grouse’s LiBARating Swap returns to inspire next generation of whisky drinkers across the world.

Following a successful launch in 2017, 12 of the most highly skilled bartenders from six of the World’s 50 Best Bars will be taken on an exciting global exploration of flavours, cultures and cocktail serves, to ultimately challenge whisky convention.

The LiBARating Swap was borne in September last year in line with Naked Grouse’s philosophy to educate and inspire bartenders across the world on the unique potential of the blended malt in a less conventional way.

The swap, which sees two bartenders from each city switch with their peers in another city, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for selected bartenders to trade places for four days and immerse themselves in an entirely new city to discover fresh ingredients, flavours and techniques that bring whisky mixology into a bold, unconventional future.

The LiBARating Swap from Naked Grouse will see bartenders travel the globe from Edinburgh’s Bramble

At the heart of this year’s swap is The Future of the Whisky Serve, an advocacy programme to train over 150 bartenders across the globe. Over the course of the four days, bartenders will host a workshop on the theme before jumping behind their host bar to create their own creations with inspiration from the seminars.

The concept aims to engage bartenders around the world with Naked Grouse and encourage them to experiment with the blended malt, ultimately inspiring the next generation of younger whisky drinkers with new and exciting Scotch serves.

This year, bartenders will be swapping from Dandelyan in London (#2); Indulge in Taipei (#28); Imperial in Tel Aviv (#50); Bramble in Edinburgh (#52); Ruby in Copenhagen (#58) and Red Frog in Lisbon (#92).

During their visit, each of the 12 bartenders will be immersed in the culture, sights, smells, tastes and experiences around them to experiment, inspire and create before carrying out a guest shift in their host bar. Bartenders will be challenged to concoct a unique series of quality cocktails during a guest shift using the Naked Grouse blended malt and local ingredients, putting their world-class bartending expertise to the taste test for local consumers.

Last year bartenders took their passion and love for the craft to the next level, exploring the streets and hidden gems in a new city to find cocktail inspiration that represented the city they were visiting. Naked-inspired creations included the ‘Naked Vibe’, ‘Mad Dog, ‘Honey, Where’s my Manhattan’ and ‘No Pineapple in the Pine Forest’.

Naked Grouse is being the LiBARating Swap

Elaine Miller, global marketing manager at Naked Grouse, said: ‘Naked Grouse is founded on the ethos of being uncomplicated and unconventional and that’s what the LiBARating Swap represents. The recipe is simple – we invite some of the most talented bartenders in our global markets to explore a new city and use the inspiration that comes with that adventure to showcase innovative flavour explorations of whisky.

‘It’s about investing in the experts who bring our whisky to life on a day-to-day basis through the art of mixology.’

Henry Philip, global brand ambassador at Naked Grouse, added: ‘At the heart of Bar Swap, there is an ambition to propel the Naked Grouse brand across the world. The program was launched to encourage bartenders from the best bars in the world to share ideas, mix cultures, challenge convention and ultimately inspire more people to try Scotch whisky.’

Naked Grouse is a blended malt whisky produced in Glasgow by Edringto. It initially launched as a blended Scotch in 2011 before relaunching as a blended malt in 2017, in line with the increasing popularity of single malt whiskies.