In less than a week The Opihr Global Competition begins in Venice. Six talented bartenders will come together to compete as each hopes to be named The Spirit of Opihr 2019. Today we’re catching up with another of the contenders.
What’s the name of your bar and which country will you be representing?
My bar is called Candlelight Bar at Siam Thai and I’ll be representing the United Kingdom and Ireland.
How long have you been a bartender?
I’ve been bartending for now for 19 years.
What’s the story with your Opihr cocktail?
On my Opihr journey of discovery I wanted to find and identify ingredients that would compliment the spice and cardamom of the gin. Cacao and coffee were top of my list, and as part of the spec for the competition was a local ingredient I was in a bind as neither grow locally in Dublin, Ireland! But my research into the brand led to a story about the Master Distiller Joanne Moore’s journey and travels. She described her sensory immersion in the spice markets which became the foundation for Opihr. This brought me back to the memories of my own journey. Walking through Dublin holding my mum’s hand, crossing the Liffey, whilst the air was saturated with the smell of the Guinness brewery and the dark roasting malted barley. And Guinness has been a part of my bartending journey. My grandfather transported it all over Ireland via his canal boats, my dad taught me to pour my first Guinness and it was pints of porter before cocktails.
Tell us a little about how Opihr gin works with the locally sourced ingredients in your cocktail
My drink is a modern take on the Negroni, which is celebrating 100 years, and I wanted to utilize the Opihr DNA and its flavours in this classic with some additional citrus in the form of pink grapefruit and softened with a hug from Ireland in the form of the Guinness head!
What are you most looking forward to at the global final in Venice?
Continuing my Opihr journey and having an adventure.
Describe yourself in three words
Big-hearted. Adventurous. Inquisitive.
Any Port-er in a Storm
40ml Opihr Gin
20ml grapefruit enhanced Campari
15ml cacao nib and coffee liqueur
3 dashes saline solution
Add the Opihr, Campari, liqueur and saline solution to a mixing glass over ice. Stir and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Zest with pink grapefruit (Turkish if possible) and float Guinness on top. Garnish with grapefruit oil and edible gold dust.
The Opihr Global Cocktail Competition takes place in Venice 26th September. Read more about it here.
Look out for another Opihr Global Cocktail Competition finalist interview tomorrow.