Admit it: who wouldn’t want to have a stylist on hand to kit them out in fine style each morning?  The gesture certainly went down well with the 14 Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender global finalists.  For them, this was no ordinary Monday, it was a rock star treatment Monday, starting with their one-to-ones with Global Brand Ambassador Raj Nagra followed by the group photo shoot –think quintessentially English country attire meets serious downtown bartender chic.

Then for everyone else it was over to the soon-to-be-completed Bombay Sapphire distillery and visitor centre at Laverstoke Mill while we headed back to London…

Home for the next few days is the Gothic spectacular St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, slap-bang in the middle of King’s Cross. Remember the video for ‘Wannabe’ by The Spice Girls? This is where that famous staircase scene was shot. On the menu this evening: a private Routemaster bus complete with pumping soundtrack; slap-up steak dinner at Hawksmoor Spitalifields; cocktails at White Lyan and night caps back at the hotel.

Cleverly and much to the our joy Bombay Sapphire have hired out the Royal Suite no less, so the bartenders can fine tune their serves ahead of the semis and finals, invited guests can check out the scheduled talks and we can all chill with a Bombay Sapphire cocktail or two at the end of each evening – result!

Tomorrow the intensity goes up (an ever-so slight) notch with shopping for ingredients, guest talks, followed by dinner and another bar tour. Hey, it’s tough work but somebody’s got to do it, right?

What we learned today

Vapour infusion is a marriage of ten botanicals and a unique distillation process monitored by hand.

Quote of the day

“Three of the top five bartenders in the competition are going to be sporting beards” – Jonas Brandenborg Andersen, Strom Bar, Copenhagen

Bartender of the day

Jonas Brandenborg Andersen for the random quote above.

Tomorrow: shopping for ingredients in London’s markets; guest talks from industry experts and London bar tour part 2.

Check in at The Cocktail Lovers each day for news and follow all the
action @bombaysapphire #mostimaginativebartender

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