Caorunn Gin is celebrating their 10-Year Anniversary by creating the “10 Year Switch” international cocktail competition. U.S. Bartending finalists will compete on July 31st in New York City. The winner will get to switch countries with U.K. counterparts this summer!
Chicago’s very own local mixologist, Jacee Coelho, from Travelle at the Langham has been named one of the five U.S. finalists who will compete in the international cocktail competition.
The U.S. finalists competing are:
Chris Bidmead from Blue Quarter in New York, NY with the ‘5 from home’
Jacee Coelho from Travelle at The Langham in Chicago, IL with the ‘Pure Berry’
Scott Jenkins from Hide Bar in Dallas, TX with the ‘Bog Standard’
Caitlyn Moorhead from The Winslow in New York, NY with ‘Gincident Report’
Chris Olivier from The Tasting Room at Rock Brothers in Tampa, Florida with ‘Caorunn Calling’
The international finals in New York City will include the five bartenders listed above from the U.S. and the U.K. They will be judged by an expert panel led by Ryan Chetiyawardana (also known as ‘Mr Lyan’), founder of Dandelyan and Cub and one of the world’s most influential bartenders; Caorunn Gin Master Simon Buley; and the Godfather of Cocktails, Gaz Regan. One winner will be chosen from each country, both receiving an international prize– the opportunity to switch countries and work in one of the coolest bars in London and New York City so they may experience British and American culture at their finest.
The champions will also receive the honor of having their 10 Year Switch cocktail named as Caorunn’s signature served in bars across their respective country. The competition is meant to provide bartenders across the United States and the United Kingdom a once in a lifetime opportunity to build their personal profile on an international platform by showcasing their cocktail creativity to the world.
Gaz Regan, acclaimed author, judged the US entries against four distinct categories: the fusion of Scottish heritage and American influence; accentuation of the character of Caorunn Gin by taking inspiration from at least one of its five Celtic botanicals; its well-balanced and crafted taste profile; and the distinctiveness of serve through its visual appeal and creative presentation.
“While judging the cocktails in the Caorunn Gin cocktail competition, I was blown away by how the bartenders took on this challenge — specifically to create new drinks that showed off the many different directions while being guided by the various botanicals used to make this fabulous, and unique, gin,” said Regan. “Picking the five finalists was, in itself, a challenge for me, but I’m extremely happy with the drinks we’ve picked and excited to see the finalists when they compete in New York.”
So what did our local Chicago mixologist, Jacee Coelho, create?
1 ½ oz. Caorunn Gin
¾ oz. vanilla syrup
½ oz. lemon juice
3 large blackberries
1 egg white
Muddle the blackberries in vanilla syrup. Build ingredients dry in a shaker. Add 1-inch cubed ice and double shake with the egg white. Double strain into a coupe glass.
Lemon Swath Curve & Blackberry
Coelho says her inspiration for the Pure Berry cocktail came from “the mass amount of beautiful green fields in Scotland and the natural fruits that grow in them. The name Pure Berry comes from the saying Pure Barry. In an attempt to nod at all things good in life.”
Caorunn Gin is handcrafted infusing five locally foraged Celtic botanicals including dandelion, heather, Coul Blush apple, bog myrtle and rowan berry along with six traditional gin botanicals. Fresh and floral on the nose, this gin is clean, sweet, full-bodied and aromatic with a long-lasting dry and crisp finish.
Gin Master, Simon Buley, passionately handcrafts Caorunn in small batches in a unique Copper Berry Chamber. The round chamber contains four large trays on which the botanicals are spread and as the vapor passes through the trays it picks up the flavors of all the botanicals in a long, slow process. When it cools and returns to liquid, now gin, the botanical flavors are firmly embedded in the spirit.
The doors of their iconic Balmenach Distillery are open to the public, where visitors are invited to experience the distilling process first-hand. For more information on Caorunn and their Highland distillery, please visit: https://www.caorunngin.com.
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