Thom Solberg is Rebel Yell cocktail competition winner

24 August, 2016

Thom Solberg of Black Rock bar in London’s trendy Shoreditch has won the Rebel Yell Bourbon Cocktail Competition.

Rebel Yell bourbon and UK distributor Cellar Trends will be hosting Solberg at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which celebrates its landmark 25th year next month.

Bartenders across London competed in five heats, leading to the final at Mash, Soho.

The judges included: Greg Mefford, international sales director at Luxco in the US which owns Rebel Yell, John Rempe, master blender, and world whisky expert and DI regular contributor, Dominic Roskrow.

The other finalists were:
- Harry Knox, Boulogne bar, Kentish Town;
- Lükas Gotze, Three Six Six, Battersea;
- Milan Kresan, The Churchill Bar, W1;
- Tertius Wharton, Opium, Chinatown.

Solberg winning cocktail, Bakken [name inspired by one of the largest oil fields in the US] comprised:
- 50ml Rebel Yell bourbon

- 15ml Amaro Angostura

- 10ml Velvet Falernum

-  5ml walnut oil

-  Zest of half a lime.

Shake hard over ice and double strain. Garnish with a side of flamed baby sweetcorn, and fresh plum halves and cherries. Add a torched ear of corn.

Solberg said: “My personal act of rebellion was to shake up the cocktail – needed due to the oil. Whereas at my bar Black Rock, all our whisky cocktails are stirred. But there is harmony. I chose the garnish so that every flavour in it reflects the nuances of taste within the Rebell Yell bourbon.”

Overall, a diversity of ingredients in the entrants’ ‘recipes for rebellion’ ranged from: banana liqueur, absinthe, 31YO armagnac, PX sherry, chinato, peanut punch, seaweed to corn.

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