Braced for impact

Grant Murray from Scotland won the Peter F Heering classics global final in London Cocktail Week


Five finalists competed at Shoreditch bar Joyeux Bordel with their classic twists, having qualified from the 10-strong semi-final two days earlier.

The finals were the culmination of a global competition that was contested by 2,582 bartenders from 46 countries around the world.

Murray, who works at Scotch & Rye in Inverness impressed judges with his Brace Position drink – a spin on the gin Aviation cocktail taking in Islay whisky and Cherry Heering.

The judging panel comprised drinks historian David Wondrich, Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide, Lauren Mote, co-proprietor of Bittered Sling, Charlene Dawes, managing director and owner of Tastings Group, and Hamish Smith, editor of The World’s 50 Best Bars.

Mote told DI: “This group of bartenders presented delicious and thoughtful cocktails, with engaging presentations that reflected the history of Heering.”

Murray said: “I was blown away by making the final five, but then going on to win was just amazing for me. From here I will keep making cocktails, experimenting with flavour techniques and, of course, keep entering competitions.

“Inverness doesn’t have a lot of presence on the UK bartending scene, let alone globally, and if I have in a small way helped that to change, I am delighted.”

He won €500, a Stelton cocktail shaker and joins the Heering Legends, the brand’s global marketing programme.

Also competing in the final was Pita Dixon from Australia with the The Right Way, Andrew Schneider from Canada with Mount Pleasant, Dawid Guzik from Luxembourg with Secret Clover, and Laura Walker from New Zealand with Blood From a Stone.