Funkin Innovation Championship is back with a bang. It's the cocktail competition that sees purées and syrups go flying, as some of the best bartenders from around the country battle it out to win a part-time contract with Funkin, a trip to Bar Convent Berlin and £500 in cash.
As always, the competition embodies innovation, calling on bartenders to create an innovative and original Funkin cocktail that they believe will be a bestseller in 2019. The cocktail can be as complex or simple as you like, but must feature either a Funkin Pro Purée and a Funkin Pro Cocktail Syrup, or Funkin Pro Beetroot Shrub with a minimum of 25ml of purée. However, it must be easy to replicate.
For this year's final, Funkin has upped the ante, collaborating with Crucible, Stu Bale's creative hub for bartenders in London. Bartenders with the most innovative cocktails will journey to Crucible on 11 September, embarking on a two-hour immersive flavour session with Bale himself, with full access to the lab's cutting-edge equipment. After the session, the finalists will go head-to-head to be crowned Funkin Innovation Champion 2018, in front of a stellar judging panel, including Bale.
'Being the Funkin Innovation Champion is a unique opportunity and the expertise I am gaining is enriching my career,' said 2017 Innovation Champion Aiste Valiukaite on her big win.
'I am really enjoying my year with Funkin and now look forward to what lies ahead for me. This is an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience and I encourage fellow bartenders who feel they have innovative ideas that they’d like to share to enter.'
'This marks the fifth year we are holding our Innovation Champion competition and, to celebrate, we are offering something extra special as a prize,' added Funkin managing director Andrew King. 'We are delighted to be taking the winner to this year’s Bar Convent Berlin, a key industry event and bartending experience second-to-none.
'Our innovative partner Crucible will provide an unforgettable learning experience for all of our finalists and we look forward to crowning this year’s winner.'
The competition opens up a world of opportunities, along with the experience gained in the year-long Funkin contract, worth £6000. Previous Innovation Champions have gone on to open consultancy firms, become brand ambassadors and open their own bars.
Bartenders, it's time to get fruity...