Bourbon country for Edinburgh bartender

• Buffalo Trace competition winner Michael Braun of Panda & Sons.

EDINBURGH bartender Michael Braun managed to bag himself an all expenses-paid trip to Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky as Scotland’s winner of the Buffalo Trace Bourbon ‘8 Steps to Heaven’ cocktail competition.

Braun, bartender at Queen Street venue Panda & Sons, saw off competition from across the trade to take first prize with his winning recipe ‘The Happy Ending’.
It was an Edinburgh lock out of the top three spots in the Scottish final, with Jon Hughes of Bramble taking second place and Miran Cauhan of Paradise Palms securing the third spot.
Braun will now be joined by seven other UK winners in October on the trip to the Kentucky distillery.
“It’s going to be my first time in the US, and to see the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery will be something really special,” said Braun.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, UK distributor of Buffalo Trace and organiser of the competition, congratulated Braun, adding that the bartender “will no doubt return from Kentucky with even more innovative ideas”.