Shakes & the City closed Imbibe Live with a bang on Centre Stage as three teams from cities across the UK battled it out to be crowned the best cocktail city in the world… and to win a prize of £1,000. Who came out on top? None other than team Bristol.
Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester had triumphed in three separate heats across the country, beating another five teams, to make it to the final where they faced the exacting judgement of legendary bartenders Stuart McCluskey, Hidetsugu Ueno, Peter Dorelli and Imbibe‘s Laura Foster.
First up were Bristol, who presented as if they were from the Visit Bristol tourism office, giving plenty of ‘alternative facts’ about Bristol. ‘Two out of five people in Bristol are addicted to cider,’ announced Psychopomp’s Emilio di Salvo before the team created a punch version of a Cider & Black that incorporated locally made aquavit, absinthe and cider.
Team Glasgow announced their arrival with a bucket of bright bouncy balls that they bounced into the crowd, a ton of glitter and bubbles. They proceeded to make a Japanese whisky highball with an ice cream float that was a nod to the ice cream heritage of Scotland brought thanks to the Italian families who populated the city.
Last up was Team Manchester, who played on the worker bee, the symbol of Manchester, making a Bee’s Knees with honey from Chorlton, a suburb of Manchester, and a homemade citrus caramel, before they led the crowd in an impromptu rendition of Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger.
The judges were left to deliberate, and it was a really tough call, with the panel split two-all between two teams. To resolve the issue, everyone’s scores got totted up and it came down to just one point in it, with Team Bristol finally triumphing.
‘What a way to close the show!’ declared Foster. ‘All of the teams brought their a-game, but ultimately Bristol was the whole package – a brilliant presentation that tied to the city, delicious drink and it looked beautiful too. Let’s see what next year brings to this exciting new national cocktail competition!’