Jack Daniel's crowns UK champion

Jack Daniel's has crowned the UK champion of its Tennessee-based Birthday Cocktail Competition 2011.

Bartender Dean MacGregor of Sahara in Reading took the prize after impressing judges with his Jack in Black 'sharing'‚ cocktail.

Judged by American whisky expert Nidal Ramini and Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett and master taster Jeff Norman,  the 2011 final took place on Barbeque Hill in Lynchburg, Tennessee, close to the Jack Daniel Distillery.

Competitors were asked to create a cocktail within five minutes that contained Jack Daniel's and no more than six other 'readily available' ingredients.

Extra marks were awarded for 'creative presentation' and a memorable cocktail name.

Judge Ramini said: 'We really mixed it up this year and threw the bartenders a bit of a curve ball by asking for sharing drinks, which is a concept that is usually associated with gin and rum, but they certainly delivered.

"Dean MacGregor from bar of the moment Sahara in Reading made what I think is almost the perfect Jack Daniel's drink. It was inspired by rock & roll, used really simple ingredients and tasted amazing.

"Finally I would just like to add that this competition has shown again the depth of bartending talent we have in the UK, it's not just one city dominating, great Jack drinks are coming from all corners of the UK and I think that‚s a real compliment to our industry."

Jack in Black recipe:

8 Barspoons cherry preserve

140ml Jack Daniel's

30ml Opal Nera Black sambuca

30ml Cherry marnier

120ml Fresh lemon juice

120ml Cranberry juice

4 x Dashes Fee Bros barrel aged bitters


Split all of the ingredients equally over two shakers

Stir the jam until it dissolves

Shake with cubed ice

Strain into four jam jars with cubed ice

Garnish each jam jar with a lemon twist and a cherry (with 2 sip straws)