Imbibe’s cocktail competitions always push bartenders to new limits of flavour and creativity. Whether it’s a particular mixer, spirit or liqueur to be included in the recipe, we always see a great deal of creativity and thought around the central theme of each contest.
The Peller Icewine Cocktail Competition is no different, and Enotria&Coe has just announced the five finalists who made the best use of Peller Icewine, an unusual but emerging cocktail ingredient, to go head to head at Imbibe Live.
Hamza Najdaoui of Kai, Mayfair; Lynsey Cameron of Café/Bar Gandolfi, Glasgow; Owain Williams of Filter + Fox, Liverpool; Thomas Ryan of Doctor Ink’s Curiosities, Exete; and Miran Chauhan of The Bon Vivant, Edinburgh will battle it out in the final, Ice Wine Baby. They will present their drinks to judges and audience to find out who will walk away with the glory and the top prize, a six-day trip to the Niagara Peninsula in Canada.
The challenge was to create a fantastic cocktail recipe using a minimum of 25ml of any of Peller Estates’ Icewines as the base for the drink. Entries were tried and tested at distributor Enotria&Coe’s HQ, before being whittled down to a shortlist of five.
Chauhan will channel the Canadian landscape by using deer antler to ash-wash manzanilla sherry. Williams’ Leapster Spritz with lemon balm and black pepper soda looks like it will bring a beautiful balance of sweet and savoury, and Ryan’s 1.5 Degree Shim gets on board with the current low abv cocktail trend.
‘The concentration of flavour, which can be attributed to its unique production style, means that ice wine can be used to sub different elements in riffs,’ said Ryan, speaking of why ice wine makes a great cocktail ingredient.
‘Whereas ordinarily I would just use wine products to replace vermouth, ice wine can be subbed in for the sweet element in drinks (so something like an Old Fashioned) or even as the main spirit, as it has such a big presence, creating a lower abv drink.’
The Pellers have been pioneers of the Canadian ice wine scene, as one of the first families to explore the possibility of this unique dessert wine. Their varieties include NV Ice Cuvee, Vidal Icewine, Riesling Icewine and Cabernet Franc Icewine.
Ice Wine Baby; Imbibe Live Day 2, 4 June; 11.30am, The Cocktail Lounge