Last Wednesday saw the second round of the Babicka Vodka Marylebone Cocktail Competition. Tucked away downstairs from the bustling James Street is Cocochan’s bar, where critics and supporters gathered ready for the first shake and stir of the competition. This round was for North Marylebone, with three Marylebone venues taking part; Hardy’s, The Marylebone and the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel.
A range of judges were present and were taken through the step by step process for both a long and a short cocktail by each bartender, using a minimum of 25ml of the wormwood infused Babicka vodka. The result came down to a few points but James Penson of Hardy’s was the eventual winner with his ‘Magicians Martini’ being voted the overall best cocktail (recipe below).
The competition has reached its midway point. The bar has been set very high by both James and Andre (The Reform and Social Bar and Grill, South Marylebone winner). The next two rounds are set for the course of the Summer – this is the crown that the bartenders in Marylebone’s growing cocktail scene are all looking for.
Recipe for Magicians Martini:
50ml babicka vodka
20ml Noilly Prat
Plus 5ml of high proof gin for flame
Glass: 5oz classic martini glass
1. Stir vodka, vermouth and biadina with ice and decant into small apothecary bottle.
2. Cut a small disc of grapefruit zest
3. Light 5ml of high proof gin in a separate coupe
4. Pour flaming gin into well chilled martini glass, squeeze grapefruit zest over gin to create flame and extinguish by pouring cocktail into glass
5. Garnish with a live dove!
Visit the Hardy’s Brasserie website for more information.