Much like working in the yachting industry, life as an international bartender is an option most careers advisors don’t suggest to the average school leaver.
This is a shame because, again much like yachting, it is a ticket to visit some of the world’s nicer destinations, usually on a drinks company’s dime, and almost always in a state of semi-inebriation.
Last month, a major competition called the G'Vine Gin Connoisseur Program (GCP) concluded, with bartenders from all over the world coming together in Cognac to compete in the global final.
G’Vine gin is somewhat unusual in that it is made in France, and has a very floral characteristic. The latter makes it perfect for use in cocktails, as the floral notes are easier to balance with delicate flavours than the heavy, juniper hit of a London Dry Gin. As such, the cocktails entered into the GCP were a touch more creative than ‘gin and a splash of tonic’.
Below are six of the best GCP cocktails, including the winning drink, created by Jamie Jones, a bartender from Manchester.
(You could use any gin in these drinks of course, but they will taste infinitely better made with G’Vine, as they were designed specifically to work with its unique, floral flavour.)
La Floraison d’etre (Jamie Jones – The Liquorists, Manchester, United Kingdom)
60ml G’Vine Floraison
20ml Lillet Rose
30ml sherbet (equal parts Lemon juice and sugar)
25ml egg white
10ml extra virgin olive oil
10 crushed pink peppercorns
Shake hard with 2 cubes of ice, double strain and top with 30ml rose lemonade. A spritz of homemade lavender and rose perfume on drinking hand, served with a macaroon.
Kon-Tiki Cocktail (Hannah Lanfear – Boisdale, London, United Kingdom)
40ml G'Vine Nouaison
15ml Coco Real
12.5ml fresh lemon juice
12.5ml sugar syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
35ml fresh pink grapefruit juice
Dash batched bitters (a 2:1:1 of Bob's Abbott's, Lavender and Chocolate)
G-S.I.C. (Irwan Majid – Cut By Wolfgang Puck, Singapore)
60ml G'Vine Floraison
30ml infused Pandan/Screw pine sugar syrup
30ml pineapple juice
15ml lime juice
15ml Maria Brizard Lemongrass
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
3 leaves of Pandan/Screw Pine
1 pc ginger
Parterre de Floraison (Mari Nakano – The Peninsula Tokyo, Peter Bar, Tokyo, Japan)
30ml G'vine Floraison
5ml Romate NPU Amontillade Sherry
10ml fresh lemon juice
10ml Monin Poire Syrup
5ml homemade cresson (watercress) bitters
Sauvage (Katrin Reitz – La deed a, Berlin, Germany)
50ml G´Vine Floraison
10ml cardamom syrup (homemade)
20ml cloudy apple juice
2 slices cucumber or 10ml cucumber juice
1 twig dill
7.5ml lime juice
1 spoon jalapeno juice
Top with ginger beer
Muddle dill and cucumber, shake and double strain into a highball glass before topping with ginger beer. Garnish with cucumber slice with dill and wild flower on the glass, all wrapped in a pharmacy paper bag.
Ma Vie En Rose (Kellie Thorn – Empire State South, Atlanta, USA)
60ml G'Vine Floraison Gin
30ml Dolin Blanc Vermouth
15ml Orgeat (scented with rose water and cardamom)
7.5ml Briotett Creme de Cassis
7.5ml lemon juice
Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Fine strain up into a coupe. Garnish with a dried rosebud.
Andy Ives is the founder and editor of BarLifeUK.com and Barlife Magazine
Best Cocktail Writing Finalist – Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2011, 2012 & 2013