Horsham bartender retains Ultimate Bartender title

Finalists (back, from left) Dave White, Adam Binnersley, Jonathan Arthur, (front, from left) Nick Gordon and Cameron Woodger.

Finalists (back, from left) Dave White, Adam Binnersley, Jonathan Arthur, (front, from left) Nick Gordon and Cameron Woodger.

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A Horsham barman beat more than 120 rivals from around the UK to win the Ultimate Bartender title for the second year running.

Dave White, 36, manager of the Dead Parrot bar in Piries Place, took part as a solo contestant, having won with his team last year.

The competition is designed for bartenders to showcase their talents and put their skills to the test in a series of trials

After beating stiff competition from over 120 bartenders across 15 regional heats, Dave and the other finalists were flown on all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans to battle it out in the final rounds at the iconic Tales of the Cocktail event.

Contestants were tasked with a series of new rounds, including tests of each contestant’s business acumen, rote challenges to test management and HR skills, and a quiz to test general bartending knowledge.

New for this year, competition organisers Monkey Shoulder took advantage of the fact that they were in their first ever overseas location, and set a series of daily ‘scavenger hunt’ challenges across New Orleans.

As part of the winner’s prize, Dave will run his own bar at London Cocktail Week from October 3 to October 9, which will be promoted and stocked by Monkey Shoulder.

He will also get to keep all the takings made during the week. Last year, Dave and his team mates from Dead Parrot took home over £13,000.

Dave White commented: “I’m thrilled to be crowned the UK’s Ultimate Bartender for the second year in a row.

“Monkey Shoulder really stepped up the competition this year but the scavenger hunt around New Orleans was the real icing on the cake.

“The trophy will take pride of place in the bar whilst planning for London Cocktail Week gets underway!”

Dave beat Jonathon Arthur and Nick Gordon from Orchid in Aberdeen; Cameron Woodger, from 99 Bar and Grill in Aberdeen; and Adam Binnersley from MOJO in Manchester, who all did their utmost to smash the challenges.

With only a small number of votes between first and final place, it was neck and neck right until the very end.

All finalists attended the annual William Grants and Son’s ‘Party on Your Palate’ soiree at the Orpheum Theatre during their stay.

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