Scotland meets St Lucia as bartenders compete for spiced rum honours

Andy Stewart has been busy online virtually marketing his spiced rum concept

Two Scots bartenders are in the UK’s final 10 of ‘The Chairman’s Spice Lab’, a unique program from Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum wherein hospitality professionals are invited to submit their own recipe for a spiced rum.

But to enter, bartenders had to provide more than just a recipe – they had to detail their vision and inspiration for the liquid, explore its spice blend, suggest its ideal serve, and explain how and why they would promote their product to the beverage community.

Andy Stewart from The Albyn in Aberdeen – a former SLTN Mixologist of the Year – and Johnny Morrison, bar manager at Moskito in Glasgow, have been selected from hundreds of entrants throughout the UK, and now progress to the later stages of the competition, up against finalists from the USA, France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and – the home of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum – Saint Lucia.

The Chairman’s Reserve spice kit containing the four spices that must be used – vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried orange peels

Andy’s shortlisted proposal is for ‘Scottish Spiced’ bringing a big streak of local influence with Cranachan flavours, and with an eye on the competition’s expectations, he has since set about creating a brand identity using his own unique imagery online.

Johnny’s finalist rum is called ‘Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Fig’ with added flavours of caramelised fig, cacao and cardamom pods.

The Scottish boys and another eight bartenders from around the UK have now received a Chairman’s Reserve spice kit containing four spices to be used – vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried orange peels – and one bottle of Chairman’s Reserve Original Rum for their base.

To this they can add four ingredients of their own choosing, producing a liquid which will go before an international panel of industry professionals who will select the finalists to move on to Phase Three.

It’s drinks marketing Jim, but not as we know it…