Winner announced in William Kerr cocktail competition

Congratulations to Ryan Mackie from Orchid Bar, Aberdeen, who was last week crowned the winner of William Kerr’s Gin’s first cocktail competition ‘Our Elixir, Your Mixer’. As a part of his prize, Ryan will go on to work with The Start-Up Drinks Lab to create his very own mixer. 

The Scottish Gin Society Brand Ambassador, Alison Higgins joined Borders Distillery Manager Andrew Nairn and Hannah Fisher of Start-Up Drinks Lab on the panel to judge the final of the competition.

‘Our Elixir, Your Mixer’ was open to the Scottish on-trade and challenged bartenders to take inspiration from explorer and namesake William Kerr to create a cocktail from the natural world near and far. 

Ryan’s winning drink was called Crop Circle and included homemade barley cordial and crisps, accenting the base-spirit of Kerr’s, which is made from locally grown barley, and distilled in a specially commissioned Carter Head still, one of only three of its kind in the UK. Ryan said; 

“Kerr’s Gin boasts an amazing barley to bottle foundation so the use of barley is a tip of the hat to that.

My main focus for creating the drink was using natural ingredients that meant something to me but also accentuated the flavours I got from Kerr’s gin.”

The five finalists, Ryan Mackie, Orchid; Jai-Dara Latto, Lady Libertine; Adrian Carr, The Marriott Hotel Edinburgh; Grant Coffield, The Gannet; and Ross Campbell, Blue Dog were invited to the Border’s Distillery home in Hawick for the live final.

Ryan’s success means he will work with the Start-Up Drinks Lab to create his own mixer, alongside co-founder Hannah Fisher. Hannah said;

“The standard of the hand selected finalists was incredibly high however Ryan took it to the next level by (seemingly) effortlessly creating a drink that embodied the key points of the competition; sustainability, Barley to Bottle, integral to Kerr’s gin”.  

Tim Carton, Co-founder of The Border’s Distillery said “After launching William Kerr’s Gin in August 2018, we wanted to create a bartender competition which captured the essence of the man himself and kept the focus on our appealing, innovative and intriguing liquid. 

We were incredibly impressed with the effort that came in from bartenders across Scotland, and as always are absolutely delighted to see the on-trade really get behind the newest member to the Border’s Distillery family.”

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