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Devon’s mixers and makers battle it out to create a new cocktail for the county

PUBLISHED: 11:31 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 20 November 2017

(c) wu-yi, Unsplash (CC BY 2.0)

(c) wu-yi, Unsplash (CC BY 2.0)

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Salcombe Distilling Co. is the venue for an exciting new competition where bartenders and drinks enthusiasts will be battling it out to create a cocktail for Devon. The event takes place from 3pm on Sunday, 26 November and is free to attend

Called Spirit of Devon, the competition was launched this autumn by Devon Life magazine, with Salcombe Distilling Co. and Doctor Inks Curiosities cocktail bar in Exeter. The idea is to find two gin-based cocktails which best sum up the spirit of the county.

The competition was open to both professional bartenders and amateur cocktail makers from Devon and further afield, and the shortlisted finalists will have to create their cocktails in front of a panel of judges on 26 November.

The professional entrants have to create a multi serve cocktail or punch and the amateurs will make a single serve cocktail, but all must use at least 25ml of Salcombe Gin and should include an array of Devon-based ingredients.

The back story to the cocktail was also important for selection to the final. The drinks makers needed to show the imaginative thinking behind their cocktail and demonstrate their knowledge and love of the county. The judging panel is Patrick Fogarty of Doctor Inks, Angus Lugsdin of Salcombe distilling Co, Mark Diacono of Otter Farm and Catherine Courtenay from Devon Life.

Prizes include glassware from Dartington Crystal, a gift box of Otter Farm drinks, masterclasses at Doctor Inks Curiosities and a gin school experience at Salcombe Distilling Co.

The shortlisted cocktails:

Amateur category:

Lewis Miles: Start Point. Aromas of chamomile and lavender and a countryside taste of honey lie behind this drink which reflects nautical themes and even includes a link to monks living in France.

Start Point by Lewis Miles Start Point by Lewis Miles

Chris Percy: Perfect Devon, Perfect Martini uses floral and landscape features of the county to create a take on a classic martini, a nod to the red sandstone cliffs of the south and the white limestone of the north coast and locally foraged gorse flowers.

Perfect Devon, Perfect Martini by Chris Percy Perfect Devon, Perfect Martini by Chris Percy

Louie Pollard: Between a Rock and a Hard Place celebrates the wide variety of landscapes, from beaches to moors, taking inspiration from moorland fruits, local honey and sticks of seaside rock.

Between a Rock and Hard Place by Louie Pollard Between a Rock and Hard Place by Louie Pollard

Professional category:

Craig Bellis: Salcombe Fruiter’s Cream Tea. Inspired by the cream tea, it pairs Salcombe gin, which has undergone a ‘fat wash’ of clotted cream, with local liqueurs and spirits and is served from a teapot.

Salcombe Fruiter's Cream Tea by Craig Bellis Salcombe Fruiter's Cream Tea by Craig Bellis

Agata Domarecka: Like Apple in Clove “r”. Agata’s drink uses a host of local and autumnal ingredients, including apples and a foraged pine needle syrup, with some Rusty Pig dry cured bacon on the side.

Like Apple in Clove 'r' by Agata Domarecka Like Apple in Clove 'r' by Agata Domarecka

Luke Hanson: Prim and Proper is a two part serve, the first using Oloroso sherry and a cherry shrub with notes of evening primrose and the second, a non alcoholic chaser – both served in a treasure chest.

Prim and Proper by Luke Hanson Prim and Proper by Luke Hanson

Sophie Mitchell: Seascape is inspired by the county’s coastline and aims to reflect the feelings of freedom and simplicity she experiences when she’s by the sea. It also includes a nod to the Salcombe fruiters with its citrus and elderflower sherbet.

Seascape by Sophie Mitchell Seascape by Sophie Mitchell

Lewis Potter: Devon crumble punch is inspired by his memories of picking wild blackberries and apple and honey sharing with neighbours, along with his love of local scrumpy.

Devon Crumble Punch by Lewis Potter Devon Crumble Punch by Lewis Potter

Thomas Ryan: The Other Shrub is inspired by tales of smugglers and a shrub made in Devon in the 1800s. It also aims to create a Devon-style Tiki, reflecting the coastal links.

The Other Shrub by Thomas Ryan The Other Shrub by Thomas Ryan

Come along and watch the finalists prepare their drinks at Salcombe Distilling Co’s swanky new waterside bar at The Boathouse in Island Street, from 3 to 6pm when the winners will be announced.

The bar will be open for drinks and you may even get to sample the finalists’ cocktails.

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