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Bushmills Irish Whiskey is searching for local cocktail bartenders to compete in Sky Bar Awards 2017

Will NI hold onto its ‘Cocktail Bartender of the Year’ title for another year?

2016 Winner Paul Rocks

Just days remain for Northern Ireland’s finest bartenders to enter the Bushmills ‘Cocktail Bartender of the Year’ category at the Sky Bar Awards 2017. Now in its twelfth year, the Awards are of the most premium available across the licensing trade and bring together talent from both Northern Ireland and Ireland. Bushmills Irish Whiskey will for the second year host the Sky Bar Awards competition to find the ‘Cocktail Bartender of the Year 2017’.

Confident, passionate and determined, Bushmills Irish Whiskey represents those who reject convention and are hardworking, fearless and defiant in spirit. The Old Bushmills Distillery is one of the first distilleries in the world to make both single malt and blended Irish whiskey and it is this innovation and fearlessness that has inspired Bushmills Irish Whiskey to support local talent to answer their own individual callings.

Last year, the sought-after title was won by Paul Rocks of House Bar, Stranmillis . His winning creation perfectly enhanced the rich, fruity notes and deep intense character of Bushmills’ most confident expression, Black Bush. Entitled ‘Winter is Coming’, the innovative recipe called on Northern Ireland’s love-affair with Game of Thrones and the rugged landscape of the North Coast for inspiration. Expertly pairing Black Bush with Green Chartreuse and adding a homemade apple, cinnamon and clove shrub, Paul’s cocktail left an impressive taste with the judges.

This year, Bushmills is calling on talent from NI bar trade to submit two Bushmills Black Bush cocktail recipes to the competition website before Thursday 22nd June 2017. One recipe should be inspired by the classic Old Fashioned cocktail whilst the other should showcase the entrant’s creative genius. A shortlist of finalists will be invited to compete at a live competition In Dublin in July. Each candidate will have the opportunity to make two Black Bush cocktails for the judging panel and talk through the inspiration behind their creations. Finalists will be invited to attend the impressive, black-tie awards ceremony on 21st August 2017 in Dublin, where the overall winner will be revealed.

The winner of this year’s ‘Cocktail Bartender of the Year’ competition will see their talent celebrated across national media and enjoy an overnight trip to the Old Bushmills Distillery to experience an immersive tour and a tasting and blending session with master blender, Helen Mulholland. The winner will also have the opportunity to share their increased knowledge with their peers as they will join industry experts on the judging panel for 2018’s search to find Bushmills’ Cocktail Bartender of the Year.

Northern Ireland’s bartenders are invited to submit their entries here. Closing date for entries is 22 June 2017. For inspiration and more information about Bushmills Irish Whiskey, visit www.answerthecall.co.uk or @BushmillsUK

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