Imbibe's Shakes & the City competition goes online

Closing date: 26 May 2020

Though it’s an incredibly difficult time for the hospitality industry, we’ve been very impressed with the resilience and creativity showed by so many.

It’s in this same spirit of sharing and bringing the community together that we have decided to go ahead with our annual Shakes & the City cocktail competition - but of course, we've had to make some changes for our times, which means at least some of the competition this year will be happening online. 

Each year, Shakes & the City aims to bring together teams from a city or region to create a drink worthy of the title of Shakes Champion. And just because we are all in lockdown doesn’t mean we can’t do it again.

There will be some changes as to how it’ll all work, of course. First and foremost, this year's competition is open to all bartenders - furloughed, currently unemployed and what ever other state of work you find yourself in. This also means we are encouraging bartenders from the same region to enter a team, not just those that work (or have worked) in the same venue.

Other changes are that the majority of the competition will now happen online and the regional heats will be open to a vote across imbibe.com and our social channels. We'll host the heats video and two teams with the biggest number of public votes will be invited to join the judges' choices in the final.

Interested? Here are the key dates:

  • Competition open for team entries – until 26 May 2020 
  • Finalise your entry (cocktail name, recipe, explanation) – until 15 June 
  • Virtual Live regional heats – 29 & 30 June 
  • We're hoping to hold live finals later in the year 

We always set a theme and this year, in these crazy times, we are challenging you all to create a drink inspired by a ‘local unsung hero’.

With the regional heats now taking place virtually, you'll need to consider what you can make with things you have at home. However, we’re also opening Imbibe’s Virtual Back Bar, which will allow you to request ingredients and we’ll do our best to help you get hold of them. 

If you’d like to join in the Shakes & the City fun, get chatting to the bar community in your city or region, and create a team of 3 bartenders, then simply fill the entry form below. We will then be in touch to confirm the details of your entry, as well as your live virtual presentation slot. 

If you’d like to take part but are struggling to find a team or need another member for your team, please tick the 'I need help building a team' box below and we'll get in touch to help! 


Do you have a full team (3 bartenders)?

About the regional heats:  

Every team will present their entry to 3 judges, 1 of the imbibe editorial team, and 2 industry experts. 

Each team will be given a 10 minute slot (5 minutes to prepare and then 5 minutes to present their unsung hero and drink). You can do this in any way you like, for example this could mean each member makes a part of the drink during the presentation, wearing costumes… All presentations will be recorded and hosted on the Shakes web page. 

The panel will be judging based on team work, as well as your presentation and the link between your drink and unsung hero. The judges will be able to try the drinks if they have the ingredients available at home, but the taste of the drink will not be given a high share of the points at this stage. Following the regional heat stage, the panel will select a shortlist of 6 to 8 teams from around the country.  

Shortlisted teams will then be invited to present their drink at the live finals, which will take place later in the year.