Alex Clark from 64th & Social in Clapham, London, was the eventual winner, prevailing from an eight-strong field of regional finalists flown out to Tennessee for the event.
The bartenders were shown around the home of Jack Daniel’s in Lynchburg, and taken to the distillery, with the event culminating in a cocktail contest before an “expert” judging panel.
Whiskey specialist and judge for the competition, Nidal Ramini, said: “Overall it was a fantastic trip, reflecting the genuine talent within our bar industry. The quality of entries this year has been superb and it really was a close call."
Cocktails had to contain Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 whisky, a maximum of 50ml alcohol, and carry a name with a connection to the brand.
The winning cocktail Smack My Jack Up, comprised of: two dashes of chocolate bitters, two dashes of Peychaud's bitters, 5ml agave syrup, 5ml of crème de cacao, 15ml Australian shiraz cabernet, 35ml Jack Daniel’s, shaved sea salt chocolate and orange peel.
To make: stir all ingredients until agave syrup is diluted. Add ice cubes and stir until chilled and condensed. Strain into a chilled glass goblet. Garnish with a twist of orange.