The competition was held at the Harveys bodega where bartenders were challenged to present an original cocktail, create a sherry cocktail using two surprise ingredients in a mystery box round and test their palates in a blind tasting of seven Harveys sherries, Harveys Bristol Cream, Harveys Fino, Signature by Harveys, Harveys Very Rich Old Oloroso, Harveys Very Old Amontillado, Harveys Very Old Palo Cortado and Harveys Pedro Ximénez.
It was Wilkie’s Caballo Cartunjano (Carthusian horse), named after the world-famous horses from the area, that won over judges and special guests including president of Jerez Consejo Regulador, Beltran Domecq Williams, general manager of Jerez Consejo Regulador, César Saldaña and president of the Federation of Sherry Exporters, Evaristo Babé.
Caballo Cartunjano was created to invite consumers to enjoy sherry in a new and exciting way made with Harveys Very Old Amontillado, lemon juice, homemade coconut orgeat and absinthe.
Judges included Maxxium UK’s MIXXIT Manager Amanda Humphrey, BarLifeUK’s Simon Webster and Harveys Head Winemaker, Manuel J. Valcárcel. Amanda Humphrey says: “We were impressed by all of the bartenders’ cocktails, but it was Robyn’s that was favoured amongst the group. A twist on a classic Piña Colada, her drink can be replicated in any bar and even at home, perfect for encouraging people to try sherry in a new way. Robyn also performed well in the blind taste test, which ultimately secured her position as winner of the Harvey Remix competition.”
Awarded a £500 cash prize, Wilkie, together with her co-finalists, Joe Macbeth of Rub Smokehouse & Bar (Nottingham) and Georgia Billing of Looking Glass Cocktail Club (London) were immersed in a unique brand and cultural experience while in Jerez.
Welcomed by Harveys brand ambassador, Maria Eugenia Herrera, the group visited the UK’s No. 1 sherry brand’s stunning vineyards and bodegas where they had the rare opportunity to sign a Harveys barrel, something usually exclusive to visiting members of the Spanish royal family and celebrities. They also experienced a tutored sherry tasting led by Harveys’ Valcárcel and toured the historic and beautiful cities of Jerez and Seville. Highlights included watching a traditional flamenco performance, tasting local fine cuisine and attending the unique horse show, How the Andalusian Horses Dance, performed by the Fundacion Real Escuela Andaluza Del Arte Ecuestre.
Maxxium UK’s Marketing Controller for Harveys, Janice McIntosh says:
Our first bartender competition at the Harveys bodega was a huge success. It gave us the opportunity to showcase the Harveys home to our leading bartenders and introduce industry officials to the high calibre of sherry cocktails now available in the UK. The three finalists received an opportunity like no other. They were fully immersed in the culture of Jerez and also welcomed into the heart of Harveys. We congratulate Robyn for winning the Harveys Remix competition and are excited to see how bartenders are bringing this fortified wine to life in delicious and approachable cocktails.