Edinburgh Gin Cocktail Competition

Feature by Adeline Amar | 01 Mar 2011

A few weeks ago, Edinburgh Gin staged their first Edinburgh Gin Cocktail competition, and I scuttled along to fulfil my interest in gin and oddly-shaped glasses.

Eleven competitors from Glasgow and Edinburgh had gathered for the face-off to present a signature, Edinburgh Gin-based cocktail. The results were judged by a panel composed of Edinburgh cocktail masters Iain McPherson (The Voodoo Rooms), Martin Duffy (56 North) and Ed Baird (Emporia Brand) – and an audience eager to sample the drinks.

The competitors were asked to explain their choice of ingredients– whilst also being judged on their knowledge of the Edinburgh Gin – technique – no drips and spills allowed there – taste, look and scent of the resulting drink, and finally presentation.

The resulting cocktails came in all tastes and flavours, including personal favourites of fresh pineapple and mint, a rose-flavoured drink, and a savoury cocktail combining salt, cracked black pepper and aniseed. Unexpected and surprisingly delicious.

Dean Evans, from Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn, won the first prize with his Midgie Bite (apple juice, homemade blackberry and raspberry vinegar, raspberry syrup and an egg white for a frothy texture). The second prize was awarded to David Smillie from The Blythswood Hotel (another personal favourite of the night – grapefruit and crushed fennel seeds!) and the third prize went to Cailin McGregor, from Bond No.9.

If you’d like to try your hand and shaker at some of these, a book featuring the best recipes of the night is in the works. Watch this space.