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Raise A Glass: Be At One’s ‘Best In Glass’ Competition Crowns UK Champion

This month saw the return of bar group Be at One’s nation-wide cocktail-making competition, Best In Glass, and last week it was announced that a UK champion has been crowned, alongside not two but three runners up.

The legendary return of the Diageo-supported Best In Glass cocktail competition saw a record-breaking number of entries this year, with 142 Be At One attendees, all competing to win the ultimate title of best original hand crafted cocktail. What’s more, entrants were competing for a very impressive concoction of goodies ranging from cash prizes, all expenses paid travel, and of course a fast track to Diageo’s World Class GB semi-final competition.

Taking place in their flagship venue on Regent Street for the 4th year in a row, the competition saw an incredible day of impressive skills and eclectic personalities battle for the top spot, with four lucky bartenders coming out on top.

Be At One Spitalfields Advanced Bartender, Kadir Akkus, was crowned the winner of the famed cocktail making competition, not only bagging himself a fast-track ticket to the World Class GB semi-finals, but an all expenses paid trip to Shanghai, plus £2000 VAT-free cash. Kadir wowed the judges with his ‘Island Harmony’ creation, a Casamigos tequila-based inspired by his older brother.

Kadir commented: “Participating in the ‘Best in Glass’ competition was such an incredible and fun experience. The moment I found out I had made it to the finals was just incredible. I felt proud and nervous at the same time, given there was such a high level of talent. When they announced my name for the first place, I couldn’t explain my feelings, it was truly an honour to be amongst such skilled bartenders and such an enthusiastic crowd. Now, I eagerly await the World Class final, and I am confident it will be equally amazing.”

The competition was fierce, with talented Be At One mixologists from across the country showcasing their skills. First runner up was Abbie Conner, Holding General Manager at Norwich Be at One, who impressed the judges for a second year in a row with a delectable Singleton Whiskey based cocktail named ‘Dufftown’s Singular’.

The competition saw an even tougher contest than ever, as two master-mixologists took third place. James Anstiss of the Brighton venue and Kieran Gibbs from Be At One Reading claimed the prize, winning £500 each plus a limited-time spot on the BAO menu

Carrie Nelmes, Head of Marketing, said: “This was one of our most exciting competitions yet – the atmosphere was electric and booming – and that’s what Be At One is all about. The fun, the laughter and the camaraderie displayed by all those who participated and attended was commendable. The event encompassed everything that Be At One stands for, and we cannot wait to do it all again next year.”