Sponsored by Korubu


Cocktail Competition sponsored by Whitley Neill Gin

Win a trip to South Africa for 2 with your cocktail creation

Finalists Announced

The finalists are:

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi's Italianissimo, Leeds Cocktail: Terra De Fume (Translates as Smoke of the Earth) 

Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh Cocktail: God's Placation 

Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff Cocktail: Shebeen Queen 

Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London Cocktail: Mandela's Negroni 

The final will take place at NRB on 22 March 2017 at 15.15 in Drinks Live

Whitley Neill Gin

Whitley Neill GinWhitley Neill is a handcrafted gin of exceptional quality inspired by the vivid beauty and mystery of Africa, and a never-ending drive of perfection.

Distilled in small batches by Johnnie Neill, a direct descendant of Thomas Greenall and the last in a long line of distillers, Whitley Neill brings together 8 generations of expertise and a lifelong love of adventure.

The result is an inimitable, award winning gin that skilfully blends & balances are African botanicals, such as boabab & cape gooseberries, and unusual aromatics, to create an enigmatic experience to savour.

Whitley Neill is slightly softer than traditional gins and very smooth with rich juniper, citrus, potpourri and exotic spices.

The Finalists

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi's Italianissimo, Leeds

Cocktail: Terra De Fume (Translates as Smoke of the Earth)

Glass: Cut Old Fashioned

Ingredients: 45ml Whitley Neill Dry Gin 15ml Aperol 15ml Lemongrass and Fresh Lemon Juice 10ml Rooibos and Orange Syrup 25ml Fresh Pressed Grapefruit

Recipe: Rooibos and Orange Syrup 300ml Hot water - Add 8 Rooibos tea bags and allow to brew over moderate heat for 1 hour. Add 4 Large Orange Peels - Remove from heat and allow to steep overnight at room temperature. Using muslin cloth remove all ingredients from base liquid. Add 75g of Brown Sugar. Simmer at 120c until the product reduces to approx 50-100ml. Strain again with Muslin cloth and bottle. Lemongrass & Lemon Juice: Juice 5 whole lemons, juice 4 sticks of lemon grass, allow to steep in a fridge for 1 day, store in refrigerator. Cocktail Chill Cut Old Fashioned Glass with Crushed Ice Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker, Shake hard over cubed ice. Discard crushed ice from glassware and refill with crushed ice. Strain product over crushed ice. Garnish with Dehydrated Grapefruit Wheel and Cassia Bark (Cinnamon Bark) Serve ontop of a large dark wooden Block (representative of Table mountain overlooking Capetown) At base of the cocktail glass, sprinkle tea leaves from Rooibos tea bags, broken Cinnamon sticks, and Cassia Bark, to represent the 2200 plants that grow on table top mountain. Finally burn the Cinnamon sticks and tea leaves to represent Terra De Fume.

Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh

Cocktail: God's Placation

Glass: highball

Ingredients: 35 ml Whitley Neill Dry Gin 20 ml salted baobab jam 25 ml freshly squeezed orange juice 2 dash ginger bitters 20 ml South African Viognier

Recipe: Add the gin, the jam, the orange juice and the bitters to the glass, fill it up to the top with crushed ice, churn the ingredients, add a splash of wine, cap with crushed ice. Add a straw. Sandwich the straw with a dried orange wheel on one side and a large mint sprig on the other. Salted baobab jam: 2 parts sugar 1/2 part baobab fruit powder 2 parts water salt. Mix the sugar and baobab powder with a little water at a time until all the water has been added. Bring to the boil and then reduce temperature and let it simmer without stirring until it reaches required consistency. While the jam is boiling remove the white foam that develops on the surface with a spoon. Add just a touch of salt - to taste. 

Jenny, Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff

Cocktail: Shebeen Queen

Glass: Highball

Ingredients: 35ml Whitley Neill Dry Gin 10ml Apricot Brandy 2 dashes Becherovka Top with Stout beer

Recipe: Build all ingredients in a highball and stir to incorporate before topping with the beer. Garnish with orange zest and Rosemary 

Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six, Clapham Junction, London 

Cocktail: Mandela's Negroni

Glass: Short type rock glass with clear ice

Ingredients: 35ml Whitley Neill Dry Gin 10ml Shiraz South Africa 10ml Hibiscus syrup 10ml Marigold syrup 10 drops Aloe Ferox bitter ( egality, R.I.P )

Recipe: Hibiscus syrup: 250g caster sugar, 250ml distilled water, 150ml dried hibiscus. Vacuum sealed and cooked sous vide for 1 hour at 60°. Fine strain. Store in fridge with 1 month shelf life. Marigold syrup: 250g caster sugar, 250ml distilled water, 100ml dried marigold. Vacuum sealed & cooked sous vide for 1 hour at 60°. Fine strain. Store in fridge with 1 month shelf life. Aloe ferox bitter : 50ml Whitley Neill Dry Gin, 0.5g Aloe ferox. Cold infusion 24h. Shelf life is a year.  

Competition Rules

  • Any Whitley Neill gin expression to be used as the base of a unique gin cocktail.
  • Inspiration of Africa needed to be incorporated within the recipe
  • Maximum of 5 ingredients, including the base gin chosen but not including a garnish, and can include home-made ingredients (step-by-step recipe must be included within the submission form)
  • Name of entrant, venue and city, name of the cocktail, glass used and an inspiration note MUST be included within the submitted form. There will be prompts on the form to do this, but no entries will be accepted if not completed
  • If chosen for the final, the drink will be replicated twice to the judging panel, one for photo use, the other for the judges. The glassware and ALL ingredients (barring the base gin) will need to be provided by the competitor. No electrical equipment can be used on stage, but ice (cubed and crushed) will be provided.
  • Entry to be judged on inspiration, name, flavour profile, cocktail aesthetic and overall presentation.