We’ve had Rum and we’ve had White Spirits but this week it was the turn for Tequila to shine at World Class UK.
The drama started on Tuesday in Edinburgh when Stephen Martin of Rick’s Bar secured his place in the Final. The next day James Hill from The Great Gatsby in Sheffield found out he had joined him. Today was London’s turn and five of the best in the capital battled it out for the Tequila crown in the disco-tastic surroundings of the Wyld Club at W Hotel…
According to Simon Difford, there wasn’t much in it – five points between the winner and the lowest score to be precise. But for a competition of this ilk, particularly in London, it’s the teeniest details that count and it’s those oh-so crucial details that saw Francesco Turrini from Milk & Honey go head-to-head with Tim Homewood from Babylon at The Roof Gardens.
As far as finals go, this one was a corker: we saw Tim show off his product knowledge and slick style while creating his well-balanced thyme, tequila and grapefruit cocktail. Francesco was equally dazzling in the personality and presentation department. However, he took a brave move deciding to show off one of the simplest but undoubtedly the most daring of drinks, serving up tip-top tequila infused with a cocophony of bitters. So far, so normal. It was his next move that caused everyone to shift a little closer to the edge of their seats. He felt the quality of the Don Julio Reposado shouldn’t be tampered with, so he opted to pair it up with earth from Mexico instead (yes, really).
He asked a friend to bring back stones from the birthplace of tequila which he then froze to chill the drink, informing us that the temperature would take the drinker on a journey as it warmed up again once it came in contact with the hands. And that was it. No shaking, no mixing, no razzamatazz, just a drink balanced with the core ingredient and bitters. You could almost hear a pin drop as Simon Difford and Andy Pearson considered its merits. Where was the showmanship? Where was the flair? Where was skill that would show show off his inventiveness? In the end, Francesco’s concept drink cost him a place in the final but if we’re honest, we were pretty impressed with his bare faced chic.
This year though, Tim Homewood is the man with the tequila plan for London. Check back to see how he fares in the World Class UK Final on June 14th. Find out who goes through from the South tomorrow.