Capital bartender’s Naked ambition

Edinburgh bartender Sean Cavanagh has scooped the UK title in a global cocktail competition for Naked Malt.

Cavanagh, of capital cocktail bar Panda & Sons, was named the national winner of Naked Malt’s ‘Live Naked Bar Swap’ contest – a three-stage competition involving 35 bars from the UK, US, Taiwan, the Nordics and South Korea. The final stage saw participating bartenders tasked with recreating a classic Whisky Sour using Naked Malt – the 40% ABV blended malt which is part of Edrington’s portfolio.

Alongside Cavanagh, the other national winners were Johan Evers and Oscar Drigoris from A Bar Called Gemma, who won in the Nordics; Yeongjun Jo and Hyundo Cho from Villa Records in South Korea; Morgan Zuch and Liz Senyak from Mandarin Heights in the US; and Darren Lim and Summer Chen from Vender in Taiwan.

As part of their prize, two bartenders from each bar will ‘swap’ countries with their peers for a “culturally immersive experience” where they will be able to “gain new knowledge, learn new skills, and build relationships with colleagues from around the globe”.

Justina Leonaviciute, global brand manager for Naked Malt, said this year’s ‘Live Naked Bar Swap’ competition was a “spectacular celebration of the very best industry talent working across the globe”.

“After an incredibly challenging period for the hospitality industry, we wanted to reunite our Naked community over a Naked Sour serve and inspire a new generation of bartenders and consumers to explore the very best of Scotch whisky,” she said.

“Through liberating, inspirational and educational experiences bartenders were able to reconnect, share their creativity and skills and most importantly experience what it means to Live Naked.”