After a year-long selection process, the finalists for this year's Russian Standard Master of the Mule cocktail competition have been announced. These 12 top bartenders will duke it out on 19 November for this coveted title at The Village Underground in London.
Back for its second year, the Master of the Mule final will consist of two challenges. In the first, each bartender will be assigned a secret ingredient that they must use to create a Russian Standard cocktail. Judges will evaluate these blind folded. For the second, each will present their twist on the Russian Mule, complete with the stories behind each original drink. As an example, last year's winner, Alex O'Brien (pictured, right) from Lola Jeans in Tynemouth, created the Bohemian Mule, incorporating absinthe, saké and ginger (pictured, above).
The winner will earn themselves a three-day trip to St Petersburg in Russia, the home of Russian Standard. They'll get to see where the brand is made, as well as soaking up the sights and culture of this city.
The finalists are:
- Davide Boncimino of Mr Fogg's, London
- Patrick Notario of Apples & Pears, London
- Edvardas Tinmouth of El Camion, London
- Jamie Meehan of Boisdale of Canary Whard, London
- Lucy Jane of Nola, London
- David Chu of The One, Oxford
- Tariq Nazarene of Picture House Social, Sheffield
- Brad Pearce of The Great Gatsby/Daisy’s, Sheffield
- Isaac Windsor of The Milk Thistle, Bristol
- Kamal Daghistani of Kings' Grill, Chester
- James Ford of The Fat Badger, Harrogate
- Jenny Griffiths of Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
O'Brien, last year's winner, joins Russian Standard brand ambassador Tatiana Petrakova and Imbibe's very own Laura Foster on the judging panel.