The pair, who head the bar team at Newcastle’s Tiger Hornsby, have seen off competition from across the North East to win the regional heat of the prestigious Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender 2015 competition.
Bar Supervisor Steve Arthurs, 28, and 22-year-old Bar Manager Sam Boulton, both from Heaton, joined forces with Jordan Moore from Newcastle-based The Cocktail Project to form a three-man team in the contest organised by Scotch whisky brand, Monkey Shoulder.
Together they competed against five other teams in six rounds, which judged everything from their mental arithmetic in gauging gross profit to their accuracy in pouring measures.
And, not only did the team win the overall event, but Sam also came top in the accuracy, speed and ‘nosing’ rounds – creating five cocktails 22 seconds faster than the runner up and identifying 10 spirits by fragrance alone, while blindfolded.
The trio will now take part in the semi-final of the UK-wide competition in Edinburgh in July, where, if they are successful, they will enter the grand final in London later this year.
The team which wins the national title will be rewarded with the chance to run its own, pop-up cocktail bar during London Cocktail Week, in October.
“We’re over the moon we’ve got this far,” said Sam. “We’d gone through heats to make it as far as the regional final but the competition really went up a gear at that point.
“We were up against some impressive competitors from bars across the region so we’re delighted to bring a win back to Tiger Hornsby.”
“Sam, Steve and Jordan have done brilliantly,” said Tiger Hornsby owner Rachael Frame. “Now we’re all rooting for them to nail the semi-finals and with any luck scoop the national title.”
Tiger Hornsby, at the Quayside, is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 2am, Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm to 3am, and Sundays from 3pm to midnight. Admission is free.
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