Eight of Northern Ireland’s best bartenders took part in Northern Ireland’s ‘Jameson NYC Experience’, each competing for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York.
Local bartender, Nathan Evans from Mary’s Bar, Magherafelt, was one of the finalists on the night.
Commenting on the competition, Nathan said: “I have been a bartender for the past 14 years, and passionate about cocktails for as long as I can remember. I had to give this one a go.
“I actually made cocktails in front of Sean Muldoon whilst he was still in The Merchant Hotel. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to do it again with Jameson.”
The winner on the evening, Nicole Kane of Muriels Café Bar, will now travel to New York where she will gain behind the scenes access to the World’s Best Bar, The Dead Rabbit, and newly opened BlackTail at Pier A with Northern Ireland’s finest cocktail export, Sean Muldoon.
The event kicked off with a blind taste testing of Irish Whiskeys, challenging the bartenders palate and product knowledge, before they were introduced to the Jameson Larder, which contained a huge selection of spirits, syrups, fruit and vegetables for the Invention Test round. Bartenders were allowed to choose just five ingredients to create their cocktail invention and only five minutes to serve it, with Nicole’s ‘Sine Metu’ being a firm favourite with the judges. The final round was the Speed Round, which tested the competitors’ ability to pour 10 Jameson, Ginger & Lime at speed and under pressure.
Commenting on the Jameson NYC Experience competition, Sean Muldoon stated: “There was an extremely high standard of bartending capabilities shown. Some excelled in particular rounds, but Nicole was fantastic throughout the competition and impressed in every round.”