The venue was One Mayfair – a former church dating back to 1825 that has been restored into a spectacular events space by the people behind One Marylebone where the Bacardi Legacy UK final was held this year. We started to find out which drinks had won almost as soon as we arrived as they were served up to guests throughout the evening.
We enjoyed the first winner as we began our meal. The best aperitif, Auld Alliance, was created by Daniel Bovey of Sahara Bar in Reading. Named after the historic alliance between France and Scotland from 1295 until 1560, the drink uses high-quality blended Scotch created by whisky-maker John Glaser:
The Auld Alliance
30ml Asyla Compass Box whisky
Stir ingredients with cubed ice, and julep strain into a martini glass. Twist a lemon peel over the top and trim into a fancy garnish.Next up was the best after-dinner drink which went to Purple Rain, created by Stefano Cossio of Bar 45 at 45 Park Lane, the Mayfair hotel that was opened by the Dorchester Collection this month:
40ml Bacardi 8 Year Old
10ml Fresh lime juice
15ml Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
Dash of lavender bitters
All the ingredients are shaken and strained into a martini glass, garnished with floating lime julienne.
The winning signature serve was Le Roi Soleil, created by Nicolas Stoffel of Hotel du Vin in Bristol. Its name refers to Louis XIV of France, the so-called Sun King, who is believed to have enjoyed the liqueur while staying at the Chambord château in the 17th century:
Le Roi Soleil
12.5ml Lillet Blanc
25ml Fresh lemon juice
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
All the ingredients are dry shaken and poured into an Old Fashioned Glass, garnished with one raspberry, one blackberry and a lemon twist.The cocktails, which had to include Chambord black raspberry liqueur, were judged by a team including leading mixologist Andy Pearson and Alex Turner, head of the training team at distributor Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands. The winners were formally announced later in the evening by comedian Russell Kane during a break from music played by Radio 1’s Edith Bowman as DJ.
Guests enjoyed a fine meal, with three courses that were winners of the culinary challenge of Chambord Rendezvous which called for dishes containing Chambord. The winning starter came from Martin Matysik of The Thatched Cottage in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, who came up with a foie gras mousse covered with a layer of Chambord jelly, topped with a layer of warm green asparagus velouté, served in a champagne flute.
The main course was devised by Carina Sage of venue IET London Savoy Place and featured pan-roasted fillet of venison with Chambord-glazed pears and pancetta-wrapped dauphinoise potatoes. The winning dessert was the invention of Alastair James of caterers Party Ingredients: Chambord and raspberry parfait with Chambord granita.
The six winners will head off in October on their prize of a trip to France, visiting Paris and La Sistière château and distillery in the Loire Valley where Chambord is produced. For background on Chambord Rendezvous, visit www.chambordrendezvous.com.