Winners of Auchentoshan Switch Have been Announced

Auchentoshan SwitchAuchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky is happy to announce the winners of the 2ndAuchentoshan Switch global bartender competition that literally has the winners ‘switching’ continents for two weeks to work in acclaimed bars in New York City and London. The Auchentoshan Switch North American winner is Michael Webster from Bar Isabel in Toronto, Canada and the European winner is Aidan Bowie from The Blysthswood Square Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland. The winners will be ‘switching’ continents sometime in early 2014, with Canadian Webster working at the acclaimed NightJar Bar in London and Glaswegian Bowie heading to the prestigious Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in New York City. 

The Auchentoshan Switch was open to all bartenders in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Sweden in 2013. Regional heats took place in each of these countries this past summer to determine the group of semi-finalists (12 from each continent) to compete in the Finals. The Auchentoshan Switch Finals were held in London on Oct 1 and in New York City on Oct 27.

The North American final was held at the Dead Rabbit in New York City, where bartenders had to demonstrate their skill and creativity in front of judges and guests in three knockout rounds.  In the final round, Michael Webster was pitted against the Dead Rabbit’s own Pam Wiznitzer for the win:

·         Round 1/Creativity and Presentation - 12 finalists present their Three Wood drink from the heats
·         Round 2/Your Spin – Six finalists create a spin on a Classic Three Wood cocktail chosen at random
·         Round 3/Working Under Pressure – Two Finalists create a drink from a basic pantry of ingredients plus all three ingredients from a ‘mystery bag’

“I was honored to be here to compete with these people,” said Michael Webster after his win. “Everyone was super-pro, totally dialed in. I am stoked to go to NightJar, it’s an incredible dream come true and I’m really excited. I want to send my respects to everyone involved in creating this competition.”

Says Auchentoshan Brand Manager Jennifer Meenan, “The bartender talent on both sides of the pond was incredible and made the competition so intense! We congratulate Michael and Aidan on their win and wish them the best of luck in the actual switch. The creative and delicious cocktails proved to us that Auchentoshan Three Wood is truly a darling of the cocktail community. The Auchentoshan Switch is a unique bartender competition that allows the winners to learn about cocktail culture in other parts of the world and they can share their own tricks of the trade with the host bar.”

CocktailMichael Webster’s winning cocktail: The Mixed Bag

1.5 oz Auchentoshan Three Wood
.5 oz French Muscatel
.25 oz. Amer Picon
1 heaping barspoon apricot preserve
1 egg white
7 drops Burlesque Bitters
3 drops Orinoco Bitters
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass