September 29, 2020

Leeds bartender named UK winner of Global Cocktail Challenge 2018

Angostura® has crowned bartender Thomas Gendy-Higham of Bibi’s Italianissimo in Leeds, the UK winner for its Global Cocktail Challenge 2018. Thomas will go on to represent the UK at the world-famous competition in Trinidad next February, competing against the world’s finest bartenders for a chance to win a grand prize of US$10,000, plus a two-year contract as Angostura® Global Brand Ambassador.

The closely-fought UK leg of the Challenge saw bartenders from across the nation battled it out to create the most innovative, delectable cocktails using Angostura® rum and bitters. The initial round of entries welcomed an incredibly high standard of participants to the competition; these were then whittled down to just nine finalists, who went head-to-head at London’s TT Liquor bar to recreate their original cocktail masterpieces for the Angostura® judging panel.

Taking inspiration from the heart and soul of Trinidad & Tobago, Thomas Gedney-Higham’s winning rum cocktail, J’ouvert, used a clever combination of ingredients and colours to represent the coming together of classes during carnival time. All of the fruits and herbs included are grown natively in Trinidad & Tobago.

 Rum Cocktail Recipe:

·       35ml Angostura 1919

·       25ml Banana Falernum (made with Angostura® White Rum)

·       15ml coconut cream

·       6 dashes of Angostura® Bitters

·       25ml salted pineapple juice

·       5ml fresh lime juice

Thomas’s winning Amaro cocktail recipe served up a treat for the taste buds, accompanied by a mix of nuts soaked in Angostura® rum and coated with an Angostura® caramel glaze. 

Amaro Cocktail Recipe:

·       40ml Angostura® Amaro

·       30ml ginger and beetroot shrub

·       12.5ml hazelnut liqueur

·       3 dashes of Angostura® Bitters

Tom Kirk of DOC Prosecco Bar in Leeds took a worthy 2nd place, while Lulu Fendi of The American Bar at the Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland, took 3rd place.

Other UK finalists included:

  • Ciaran Russell of The Voyage of Buck, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Karl Smith of Marks Bar, Hix Soho, London
  • Kevin Price Houghton of The Blind Pig, Soho, London
  • Luca Tosi of Whisky Ginger, London Bridge, London
  • Callum Neily of The Finnieston, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Niccolo Pradella of Graphic Bar, Soho, London

“The Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge aims to discover and encourage new and creative uses of the House of Angostura® portfolio by gifted bartenders around the world,” says company CEO Genevieve Jodhan. “Our goal is to collate a suite of inventive modern classics that showcase Angostura’s® unique brands.”

The grand final of the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge will take place on 11th February 2018 in Trinidad. For more information, visit www.angosturaglobalcocktailchallenge.com.