Three UK heats have narrowed down the entries in Beluga’s Creative Competition, part of the brand’s Beluga Signature programme.
No mere cocktail competition for super-premium Russian vodka Beluga… Instead, it launched Beluga Signature earlier this year, a full on-trade educational programme that combines a road show with cocktail competition, and spanning nine cities in the UK, France and Germany.
The Creative Competition itself called on bartenders to create a 1920s-1930s Art Deco inspired cocktail with a modern Beluga twist, suitable for a Great Gatsby style black tie party.
In the UK, heats were held in London, Birmingham and Manchester, with varying numbers of bartenders from each event going through to the next round.
In London this took place at The Connaught Bar, judged by Beluga global brand ambassador Walter Pintus, Beluga UK brand ambassador Zoran Peric, and Imbibe’s Clinton Cawood.
The London winners were:
1st Andrea Benvegna (The Connaught) – Beluga Tuxedo
2nd Dean Shury (Chiltern Firehouse) – A Single Green Light
3rd Matteo Corsalini (China Tang) – Beluga Southside Fizz
4th Enrico Gonzato (Coburg Bar) – The Gold Gatsby Party By Beluga Vodka
5th Matteo Cazzaniga (Sexy Fish) – Siberian Bamboo
6th Agostino Schiavo (Bulgari Hotel) – All My Life For Daisy
The Birmingham event, held at The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge, was judged by Beluga UK brand ambassador Zoran Peric, Cellar Trends’ Michael Cloke, and Imbibe’s Gaëlle Laforest.
The top three from the Birmingham heat were:
1st Ben Clegg (Island bar) - Beluga black pearl
2nd Matt Truslove (The Kenilworth) - A Beluga of a Time
3rd James Bowker (The Edgbaston) – Beluga Triangle
Finally, the Manchester stage was held at Manchester House Restaurant and Lounge, judged by Cellar Trends’ Michael Cloke, The Connaught’s Nicolo Carraro and Imbibe’s Laura Foster.
Manchester’s top four were:
1st Lewis Parry (The Curios Cat) - Beluga Gentleman’s Guide
2nd Adam Day (The Black Cat @ El Negro) - Beluga’s Knees
3rd Claire Best (Arcane) - Beluga South Street
4th Amir Javaid (Harvey Nichols) - Beluga Noble Punch
These 13 shortlisted now all enter the promotional stage, with bartenders required to promote their drinks in their bars until October. The final winning cocktails will then be judged on sales, creativity and visibility of the drink.
First place from each UK city will be jetting off to Moscow, all expenses paid, in November. In addition to visiting top-end bars in the city, and key attractions, they’ll also compete in the Beluga Signature Grand Final, up against the other six winners from cities in France and Germany.
The winner in that final takes home a cash prize and an exclusive Beluga trophy.
THE BELUGA RANGE
Established in 1900, the Mariinsk Distillery is where the Beluga Vodka range is produced. Situated in the heart of Siberia, its unique position in one of the most tranquil areas of Russia provides the vodka with the purest artesian water from nearby 300 meter deep Siberian wells.
The range consists of the following:
Beluga Noble – A combination of sugar syrup, natural honey, oatmeal infusion, holy thistle and a vanilla, Beluga Noble is rested for 30 days. (£40 RRP)
Beluga Transatlantic Racing – With extracts of wild strawberry and barley malt, Beluga Transatlantic is rested for 45 days having undergone an additional filtration using natural cotton. (£54 RRP)
Beluga Allure – With a resting period of 60 days, Beluga Allure offers an outstanding flavour created from maple syrup extract and an infusion of figs. (£85 RRP)
Beluga Gold Line – The most premium vodka in the range, Beluga Gold Line is a blend of natural ingredients including rice essence and Rhodiola rosea extract rested over a 90 day period. Each bottle is individually numbered and comes with a wax sealed cork, accompanied by a unique Beluga hammer and brush. (£150 RRP)
Beluga Vodka is distributed in the UK by Cellar Trends.