Austrian Ehm takes Bombay title

Austrian bartender Sigrid Ehm has become Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender for 2015 with her cocktail El Diamante.

Ehm, a wildcard entrant from Hammond Bar in Vienna, prevailed in the competition’s finale last night, beating off competition from the UK’s Dan Berger and the US’s Ran Duan.

During the semi finals earlier that day eight bartenders were whittled to three.

Ehm's cocktail was a twist on a Dry Martini, using Bombay Sapphire gin infused with a lemon and cherry Noilly prat and a salt and earth syrup.

On winning she told DI: “All the drinks in the final were really great. It was a really fine experience and my three drinks [over the competition] were a journey.”

Now in its fourth year, the week-long experience took bartenders on a gastronomic tour of Madrid and to Alicante where two of Bombay Sapphire gin’s botanicals – almond and lemon – are grown.

Over the course of the week, finalists were challenged to create a new Bombay Sapphire-based cocktail that combined creativity with their experiences.

The judging panel comprised: Peter Dorelli, Julie Reiner of Clover Club, Nik Fordham, Bombay Sapphire master distiller; and last year’s competition winner, Remy Savage of The Little Red Door in Paris.

Reiner told DI: "This is a competition that challenges the imagination. It’s about the big picture not just what’s in the glass. We gave the bartenders feedback in the semis and Sigrid took everything in and applied it. She needed to be more dynamic in her presentation and she did that in the final – and that’s hard to do."

Dorelli added: “Her cocktail was the most balanced one and had an interesting combination of flavours that complemented the gin and had a wonderful finish.”