Dundee bartender is on the money

Winning design will be used to represent UK bar scene

A DUNDEE bartender will make his mark on the international bartending scene after winning a contest for liqueur brand Fernet-Branca.

A competition for the brand organised by UK distributor Hi-Spirits asked bartenders to design a new Fernet-Branca ‘Challenge Coin’ for the UK. The coins are given to bartenders who use Fernet-Branca in their cocktails, with coin-bearers forming part of the brand’s ‘secret society’. Bartenders are encouraged to ‘challenge’ other bartenders to produce a coin. If they can’t they have to buy a drink for the challenger.

Turtle Higgins of Dundee bar Bird & Bear won the competition with his design, which received 254 online votes.

The competition requested bartenders to design a coin that symbolised the UK bar scene. Turtle’s design features bar spoons, a jigger and a bar top – all tools of the bar trade – to create a Union Jack-style flag.

Turtle’s winning coin design

Turtle said he was “both humbled and ecstatic to win”.

Second place in the contest went to Roy Varty of Night Caps in Newcastle, with third place taken by Mariusz Plucinski of Inverness venue Johnny Foxes & The Den. Mariusz’s design featured a cocktail shaker, symbolizing the mix of people who make up the UK bartending community.

Hi-Spirits managing director, Dan Bolton, said: “All the entrants put real thought into their designs, so full credit goes to Turtle for winning the vote. The Fernet-Branca Challenge Coins are an important part of the international bartending community, and so we’re delighted to have given bartenders the chance to design the 2018 UK coin.”