Joseph Miller, a bartender at Blackfriars Restaurant on Friars Street in Newcastle, beat 272 mixologists from 18 countries in the #Brocktail contest organised by Brockman’s Gin.
In first place came Maksim Evseev, chief bartender at the Brothers Bar and Grill in Vladivostok, Russia and third was Andrea Forni from La Gintoneria di Davide in Milan, Italy. All three finalists have won an expenses-paid trip of a lifetime as guests of Brockmans Gin to ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ in New Orleans, an annual magnet for the bartending profession for which Joseph is currently learning more about his trade and enjoying the sites of New Orleans.
The competition attracted a record number of nominations and voting was entirely by members of the public which had 30,000 votes in the run-up to World Gin Day 2019.
Joseph’s winning cocktail was inspired by Newcastle’s charity shops and was called Ping’s Obsession.
He said: “There was no particular theme to the competition which was quite hard for me as I like to have a theme. I got inspiration from walking around charity shops in Newcastle looking at various drinking vessels. I found a set of two ducks which seemed ideal.”
“I kept checking the leader board online every day and I was in the final four the day before deadline. The winner and two finalists got to go to New Orleans, so I was delighted to come second. Tales of the Cocktail is a huge festival with seminars and tastings – and all pretty cool.”
Andy, Hook, managing director of Blackfriars Restaurant & Parlour Bar said: “We are so proud of Joseph winning this competition – he is an amazing mixologist and is always coming up with new and creative cocktails for our guests. The news that he’s been voted the best in the UK is testament to his passion and hard work. We’ll be adding his cocktail to our menu for customers to try”.