It was a design competition that payed homage to Belvedere's all-Polish heritage, challenging bartenders to not only create a cocktail, but design the vessel, and last night the winners of Grain to Grass were announced.
Joe Hall of Satan's Whiskers and Richie Hunt of the Mint Gun Club came out on top, bagging themselves a trip to Poland. Staying at a luxury spa hotel, the trip will include activities such as beach days with jet skis.
The final, held in London, saw nine bars from the city go head-to-head, all creating a vessel for their unique cocktail that told a story. Vessels were judged on aesthetic, taste and sales of the cocktails, which were all available to customers in competitor's respective bars.
Bartenders in the final included Davide Arcucci from Quaglinos, Sergio Leanza of Nine Lives, Stillwater's Dan Priseman, Samet Ali from Nightjar, Oriole's Enza de Luca, Kelley Hill of Reverend JW Simpson, Rumpus Room's Christopher Stock and joint winners, Joe Hall and Rich Hunt.
Hall's cocktail, 24 Karat Cocktail, was inspired by Belvedere’s Gold Dankowskie Rye and its link to golden symbols of success in hip-hop – jewelry, chains and gold records. It was served in a bespoke 9oz rocks glass with a thick chain etched along the rim, with a weighty gold record as a coaster. The cocktail itself included vanilla liqueur, manzanilla sherry, Martini Ambrato Vermouth and Belvedere Vodka and was garnished with lemon zest and a spray of peated whisky.
'It's the perfect drink to promote Belvedere’s style of making vodka, and it's exciting to be given the opportunity to create a vessel that serves the same purpose,' said Hall on his creation.
'Belvedere Vodka is extremely passionate about its heritage and provenance, we are very proud of producing and sourcing every single element of our bottles in Poland, from grain to glass,' added Mark Tracey, Belvedere brand ambassador on the competition. 'We wanted to give the opportunity to the bars to enjoy the pride of owning the same process by allowing them to start their own grain to glass journey. It's inspiring to see how different each bartender's designs have been!'