Mixologist of the Year Competition14 November 2019
Searcys partnered with London-based gin producer, Sipsmith, to find Searcys first ever Mixologist of the Year. The competition looked to shine a light on the talented individuals creating cocktails in our venues, as well as provide our mixologists with an opportunity to develop their craft.
We challenged members of the teams from our venues to create a Sipsmith gin based, Christmas themed cocktail to wow the judges. As well as this, they were asked to tell us a bit about what inspired their cocktail-creation and what drew them towards becoming a mixologist. Stanislavs Pudovs, Angelica Mandeville and Gergo Klenovics from St Pancras by Searycs, Alessio Aufiero from The Gherkin and Sergio Velez from One Moorgate Place were selected to partake in the finals at One Moorgate Place on 6 November.
Our panel of judges included our Beverage Ambassador, Joel Claustre, our Head of People, Kate Bell, Alexander Darley, Sipsmith’s Regional Account Manager and award-winning mixologist and bartender, Cameron Attfield. The competitors took it in turns to take their station behind the bar of the Members Club at One Moorgate place and had fifteen minutes to create their Sipsmith Christmas cocktail and a classic cocktail, picked at random. Whilst working, the mixologists were asked to talk about the inspiration behind their cocktail and their knowledge of Sipsmith.
All the competitors created innovative Christmas cocktails which showed their personalities and succeeded in mixing fantastic classic cocktails. Congratulations to runner-up, Stanislavs Pudovs who created a ‘Seduction Kiss’ cocktail with Sipsmith gin, physalis, Luxardo Maraschino, lime juice, cranberry, juice and Franklin & Sons Lemonade and a Tom Collins. Searcys first Mixologist of the Year is Alessio Aufiero, who created his ‘Casa dolce Casa’, which was inspired by his family at Christmas in Napoli and used Sipsmith gin, Campari, homemade oregano orgeat, homemade Christmas cordial, homemade vermouth and grapefruit, as well as a Martini. Alessio said, “I loved the competition and it would be great to have more competitions in the future. I love to share my passion for mixology with guests and the team. I think that working at a bar is the best job in the world; it gives you freedom, creativity and the opportunity to share and learn.”