Ireland’s best bartenders convened on Belfast this week to compete in the inaugural Shortcross Gin Signature Serve competition.
Over the past year, bartenders and mixologists across Ireland and the UK have championed Shortcross Gin, creating their own unique Shortcross serves.
From the classic Shortcross G&T, served over ice with premium tonic and a spiral of orange peel to innovative new creations using pink grapefruit and fresh basil, there have been countless great Shortcross drinks served up and down the country and further afield.
Judges, Olivier Ward from Gin Foundry and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch; Caroline Wilson, Northern Ireland’s Local Food Hero 2015 and founder of Belfast Food Tours; and David Boyd-Armstrong, Head Distiller, Rademon Estate Distillery were tasked with awarding the top three Shortcross Signature Serves in two categories: G&T Serve and Summer Serve.
The Winners Are:
1. Shortcross Gin Signature G&T serve winner
Muriel’s Signature Shortcross Serve
Stuart Podmore, Muriel’s Café Bar
35ml Shortcross Gin
Fever-Tree elderflower tonic
Garnish: Fresh orange ice cubes and a sprig of fresh mint
Stuart said: “We wanted to create a simple yet beautiful serve to compliment this lovely gin.
“The orange ice-cubes were unique, looked good in the glass and were a wee bit of fun.
“We chose the elderflower flavoured tonic water because of the presence of these flavours already in the gin, and not only does a sprig of mint look good but it also creates a lovely fresh clean smell when taking a drink.”
2. Shortcross Gin Summer Serve winning cocktail
‘9 Hour Bill’ by Micheal Brown, The Merchant Hotel
35ml Shortcross Gin
20ml orange juice
10ml lemon juice
10ml citrus sherbet
1 egg white
Garnish: orange zest
Micheal said: “The inspiration for ‘9 Hour Bill’ came from the classic cocktail, Maidens Prayer, dating back to 1907.
The original drink consisted of gin, orange curacao, orange and lemon juice.
This take on the classic uses the Irish craft gin, Shortcross, with its subtle sweetness and citrus notes being enhanced and complemented by the fresh orange and lemon juice.
“The addition of Campari further adds to the zesty drink and brings a bitter element, along with the egg white this rounds the flavours off nicely to create a refreshing drink, which will help welcome summer back in style.
“The name takes its inspiration from William Sherman-Crawford, a prominent landowner in Co. Down and a radical reformist of his day.
“He stood as a representative in parliament and held the position of Sheriff of Down.
“He fought for the 9 Hour Bill, Irish tenants’ rights and many other important social issues for Irish people and workers as a whole.
“There is a stone obelisk standing on the Rademon Estate, where Shortcross Gin is made, erected in his memory by the people of Co. Down.”