Budding bartenders are being encouraged to get creative with cocktails at home in order to win a top prize.

Eight Lands, the award-winning organic spirits brand from Speyside, is celebrating its first anniversary with the launch of an experimental cocktail competition through social media.

Prize and how it’ll work

Amateur mixologists are being invited to create a unique cocktail, which must include no more than four ingredients, one being either gin or vodka.

For this milestone initiative, Eight Lands has teamed up with Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square to offer a prize for the creator of the winning drink: an Eight Lands cocktail masterclass for two with the hotel’s Director of Mixology, Harry Nikolaou.

Harry will share his own bespoke Eight Lands gin and vodka serves, before the winner and guest enjoy a meal in the hotel’s two Michelin-starred restaurant, La Dame de Pic.

Award-winning drinks writers and broadcasters Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison from Worlds Best Spirits, will front the competition, introducing the concept via a series of short videos to encourage people to enter.

They will also judge the entries with the Eight Lands’ team and Harry Nikolaou, and announce the winning serve online.

The competition will be launched via Eight Lands’ Instagram account on Thursday 11th June, closing on Sunday 21st June.

The winning cocktail will be announced during first week of July. The competition aims to encourage consumers to get creative during this period when drinking in bars and restaurants is impossible.

Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison said: “We are delighted to be involved with this creative Eight Lands competition to mark the brand’s milestone birthday.

“Over the last three months there has been a lot of content across social media showing people how to make and enjoy drinks at home.

“However, the Eight Lands competition is turning that concept on its head and asking people to create their own serves that can be shared. It’s fun and entertaining, whilst encouraging people to develop their at-home cocktail making skills.”

Alex Christou, founder of Eight Lands commented: “It’s been an incredible year for us and we would have loved to celebrate with a big party for our friends and partners.

“However, in the circumstances we thought it would be fun to find a way to engage with our nation of locked-down amateur mixologists.

“I am also really pleased to be working with Harry and our friends at Ten Trinity Square, as well as Neil and Joel in creating this competition. They all have a great passion for great drinks and will be fantastic judges.”

11th June marks a year since Eight Lands launched its two premium organic white spirits: a gin and a vodka.

Judging criteria 

Entries will be judged according to the following criteria and weighting:

Visual appeal and presentation – 5 points

Name and story/concept – 5 points

Creativity and ingredient choice – 5 points

Taste, flavour and aroma – 10 points

Following the close of the competition, Neil and Joel, Harry and the Eight Lands team will begin the judging process, using the above criteria to find the winner and runners-up.

How to enter

The Eight Lands Home Mixology Competition launches on 11th June across Eight Lands’ social media platforms, inviting entries via Instagram.

Full details about the competition and terms and conditions can be found online.

Two runners-up will each receive a bottle of Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin and Vodka. All entrants to the competition will receive a 10 per cent discount code to purchase their own bottles of Eight Lands from the brand’s website as a thank you for taking part.

Scran episode 4: The botanics of gin – with Hamish Martin of the Secret Herb Garden

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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