In celebration of their 10-year-anniversary, Caorunn Gin has revealed the London finalist that will compete in NYC to showcase their cocktail creativity to the world

Competing alongside some of the top bartenders in London, local resident, Karol Perz from cocktail bar, Dirty Martini, has been named as one-of-five UK regional finalists in an international cocktail competition curated by Caorunn Gin, the 10-year-switch, and is now set to compete in the competition’s final in New York City this July.

The local Waterloo resident is a bartender at Dirty Martini in Covent Garden, known for their bespoke range of martini’s. A passionate bartender of 10-years, Karol said his winning cocktail was inspired by Samuel Wilson, the face behind ‘Uncle Sam’ who was linked to the US army recruitment drive and who had a Scottish grandfather. This, paired with the nostalgia of the ‘20th Century Cocktail’ which uses gin and crème de cacao inspired his winning cocktail, aptly named: ‘Uncle Sam’s 21st Century Cocktail’.

To create his winning cocktail, Karol incorporated ingredients including: crème de cacao, a self-made ‘Big Apple’ cordial compromising fresh apple, dandelion, lemon juice, citric acid and sugar, Angostura Bitters and of course Caorunn Gin. The cocktail was served in a traditional whisky glass, first lined with a kefir lime spray that provided the perfect base for the cocktail.

Karol said he was “elated but shocked” about being named the winner of the London final which took place within The Punch Room at The London EDITION Hotel on 29 May and is in full preparation mode ahead of the NYC final so he can make fellow Londoners and his bar, Dirty Martini proud.

“I didn’t expect to win the regional heat so I’m truly elated. I’ve never had the chance to go to New York, or even the US, so for me, as a mixologist this is truly something special. I’ll be finessing my cocktail over the coming weeks so that I’m ready to go come July.”

Paloma Alos, Managing Director of Difford’s Guide, one of the world’s largest and most visited drinks guides, was a key judge for the five regional finals in the UK, alongside Caorunn Gin Master, Simon Buley. On Karol’s cocktail creation, she noted:

“It was tough to choose a winner in London following some inventive cocktail creations presented by four talented local bartenders. It was the incredible creativity, distinctiveness and of course the taste of Karol’s creation which shone through and left you wanting another – always a good sign of a delicious cocktail!”

Marking their official 10-year-anniversary this year, Caorunn Gin created the 10-year-switch, an international cocktail competition, to give bartenders across the United Kingdom and the United States a once in a lifetime opportunity to build their personal profile on an international platform by showcasing their cocktail creativity to the world.

Karol will compete against four other regional finalists from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds in New York City on 31 July. One winner will be chosen from the U.K and the U.S with both receiving an international prize – the opportunity to switch countries and to work in one of the coolest bars in their respective countries to experience American and British culture at their finest.

The UK winner will also receive the honour of seeing their 10 Year Switch cocktail named as Caorunn’s signature serve in bars across the UK.

About the 10 Year Switch:

To celebrate their 10-year-anniversary, earlier this year Caorunn Gin invited participants across the UK and the US to share a personally curated cocktail online that celebrates the Scottish heritage of Caorunn Gin and embraces the creative influence of American Culture.

Cocktails submitted online were judged against four distinct categories: Fusion of Scottish heritage and American influence, accentuating the character of Caorunn Gin, well-balanced and crafted taste profile and finally, distinctiveness of serve.

Caorunn’s judging panel selected the very best of the online entries, and successful UK bartenders were invited to attend one of the regional heats in either London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester or Leeds. Finalists were asked to prepare and present their 10 Year Switch cocktail and this World Gin Day, a winner has been chosen from each city.

The five hand-picked finalists from each UK city will be flown to New York City on an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the international final on 31 July, 2019.

Ryan Chetiyawardana (also known as ‘My Lyan’), Founder of Dandelyan and Cub, and one of the world’s most influential bartenders, has been named as the Head Judge of the 10 Year Switch and is set to judge the international final in New York City on 31 July, 2019.

Ryan will be joined by Caorunn Gin Master, Simon Buley on the judging panel in NYC as well as U.S head judge, Gaz Regan, an acclaimed author of 10-books and well-known to many as the ‘Godfather of Cocktails’.

One overall winner from each country will be selected. Both will be awarded the honour of seeing their 10 Year Switch cocktail named as Caorunn’s signature serve in the U.S or the U.K and will receive a once in a lifetime opportunity to switch countries, working in one of the coolest bars in their respective countries and the chance to experience American and British culture at their finest.

For more information about the Caorunn 10 Year Switch competition, please visit: www.caorunn10years.com

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