Local London gin Beefeater has announced the UK bartender set to compete in the Beefeater MIXLDN global final – Liverpudlian bar Berry and Rye's Joe Ballinger.
As champion of the UK competition, Ballinger will join bartenders from all around the world in London for the global final next February. As part of a four-day trip, Ballinger will undertake a series of specially designed challenges, in an effort to be crowned this year's global champion and, for the first time ever, create his own limited-edition Beefeater gin with master distiller Desmond Payne.
Now entering its sixth year, Ballinger won over judges with his 'On Holiday by Mistake', using Beefeater 24 Gin. The brief also included the theme of iconic London cinema, with Ballinger's recipe inspired by the film Withnail and I.
'We're now in the sixth year of Beefeater MIXLDN, and the competition keeps getting tougher every year,' said Beefeater global brand ambassador, Tim Stones. 'The standard of bartending in the London local final was incredibly high, but in the end the judges were won over by Joe's offering. They were impressed with the overall creativity and unique layering of complex flavours.'
'We're looking forward to seeing what he brings to the global final in February,' he concluded.
Not only creating a limited-edition gin, the global winner will also be mentored by experts as part of the Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador Programme. After training, the winner will represent Beefeater in their region and travel to prestigious bartender events, such as the Moscow Bar Show and the Berlin Bar Convent.
'Having the opportunity to collaborate with this year's global winner is something we have wanted to do for quite some time, giving us the opportunity to work with a bartender at the top of their game in distilling a gin specifically aimed at the cocktail community,' added master distiller Desmond Payne.