Exeter bartender Ben Bravington-Sim is packing for an all-expenses paid trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, as the winner of the Buffalo Trace 8 Steps cocktail competition.
Ben, who works at The Speakeasy in Exeter, saw off strong competition from other South-West bartenders to take first prize in the contest, organised by Hi-Spirits, the UK distributor of Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
The competitors were asked to create a unique drink reflecting one or more of the eight steps required to make Buffalo Trace, from milling the grain through to bottling the spirit after at least eight years of barrel aging.
Inspired by the eight steps of the production process, Ben’s winning cocktail is called “The Crossing Point”. Ben impressed the judges by explaining the whole production process and likened this to an adventure that the Buffalo and other users of the Buffalo Trace might have experienced on their travels. Marks were awarded based on a range of six criteria including product knowledge, technique and taste.
Second prize went to Charlie of Amoeba with ‘Where the Buffalo Smoke’, while third place was awarded to David -“Fitz” of Ten Mill Lane with ‘Frontier Medicine’.
Ben will be joined this October on the trip the world’s most-awarded distillery, Buffalo Trace in Franklin County, Kentucky, by seven other bartenders who have won regional competitions held around the UK.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Bourbon is the basis of some of the world’s greatest cocktails, and so it takes real flair and imagination to come up with new Buffalo Trace drinks to rival the classics.
The Crossing Point
Created by Ben Bravington-Sim of The Speakeasy in Exeter
37.5ml Buffalo Trace Bourbon
12.5ml Amaro Montenegro
2 drops Bob’s Lavender Bitters
Garnish by coating a copper mug with rose oil and serve with “Trail Mix” made of Pistachios, sugared Rose petals & sugared Violet petals.