Edinburgh bartender races to first place in cocktail comp

AN Edinburgh bartender has been crowned the first Race to Skye champion following an “intense” final of the inaugural Talisker cocktail competition.

Andrew Lennie of The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen scooped first place.

Andrew Lennie of The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen outpaced bartenders from across the UK to clinch the top spot in the competition, which took place on the Isle of Skye – home to Diageo-owned Talisker.

The Race to Skye contest, which launched earlier this year, challenged bartenders to create a cocktail that embodied Talisker’s ‘Made by the Sea’ marketing campaign.

Whittled down from ten from each region (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Bournemouth, and London), the final six bartenders selected went head-to-head in the two-day final, where they faced a series of challenges to test their knowledge of Talisker, cocktails and the Scotch whisky category.

The challenges culminated at a gala dinner where each finalist presented their ‘hip flask serve’ – a drink created before their journey to Skye – to judges for scoring on the night.

As the first ever winner of the Race to Skye competition, Andrew Lennie has been awarded the title of Honoury Talisker Ambassador and will work with the brand to raise Talisker’s profile.

Commenting on his victory, Andrew said he is “incredibly excited” to have been crowned the Race to Skye champion.

“It has been an amazing couple of days and competing in the heart of Skye has been unforgettable,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful Scotch brand to tell its rich story in my new honorary ambassador role.”