Bartenders battle it out in Edinburgh

BARTENDERS from across the UK converged on Edinburgh this week to compete in the final of a cocktail competition for single malt Glenfarclas.

The family-owned distillery’s second-ever cocktail competition challenged entrants to create a cocktail incorporating the Glenfarclas 105 cask strength expression, and which was inspired by the theme of ‘family, community and independently sourced ingredients’.

Those competing in the final were then tasked with creating a second serve inspired by the year 1836 – tying in with the distillery’s 185th anniversary.

The final was contested by bartenders Alexandru Sandu of The Beachcomber in London; Charlotte Barker from Milroy’s of Spitalfields in London; Nikki Estrada of The Tippling House in Aberdeen; Mandy Genewein from Swift Shoreditch in London; Cal McMillan of Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn in Glasgow; Andrea Morciano of The Connaught in London; Alexander Targowski from the Edinburgh Student Union and Daniel Jones from Klosterhaus in Bristol.

They competed in front of a panel of judges that was chaired by George S Grant, sales director at Glenfarclas and sixth generation member of the owning Grant family; and included Kevin Carr of Riddle & Finns in Glasgow – winner of the inaugural Glenfarclas 105 competition in 2019.

Jones, of Klosterhaus in Bristol, triumphed with his cocktail, Darwin’s Rob Roy, which combines Glenfarclas 105 with vermouth, balsamic vinegar and truffle bitters.

Grant said: “Dan had very well thought through cocktails, both fitting the briefs perfectly. He was able to achieve a delicious balance in his cocktails which celebrated our cask strength whisky and, along with his fantastic knowledge and presentation, made him a very worthy winner.”


Never Far From Home (first round cocktail)

40ml Glenfarclas 105

30ml rhubarb and citric acid syrup

30ml straw tea

3 dashes rose water

3 dashes 105 and marmalade tincture

Top with soda

Garnished with a marmalade and raspberry rim and served with straw and rosebuds


Darwin’s Rob Roy (final cocktail)

50ml Glenfarclas 105, fat washed with citrus-infused olive oil

40ml Belsazar Rose vermouth

5ml balsamic vinegar

5 dashes orange and truffle bitters

Garnished with a garlic herb crouton topped with cherry and cranberry gel. Served with a classic Rob Roy and a shot of 105.