The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge has been quite a journey – over 50 teams signed up back in March and April, but as Connor MacLeod has taught us (with alarming regularity on this here blog):
“There can be only one.”

Having followed the competition on twitter and attended the grand bar-off last month, I can thoroughly recommend hunting down the competition’s worthy winners at their London Cocktail Week pop-up in 7 Dials this week (as I did yesterday). To explain a little more about this cocktail competition that was totally unlike anything we’ve ever reported on before though, let me hand you over to Monkey Shoulder’s new brand ambassador…



Oh yes. We were going to enjoy this one!

After tackling six #MNKYcomp questions, the most fun, original and just generally good value teams bagged themselves a place in the Triple Threat Throwdown (aka Regional Finals), from which the best teams from the London, Liverpool and Edinburgh heats as well as a best overall runner-up progressed to The Festival Play-Off.

Here, at the Wilderness Festival, having now also shown their teamwork and all-round bartending skills and wotnot, the remaining teams had to pitch their pop-up bar idea. Only the best two concepts made it through to The Grand Bar-Off (aka The Final)…



It was a close, but deserved victory for The Cowbell Bar on the night – congratulations to Glasgow’s Stu Bale, Abi Clephane and Ervin Trykowski!!! The warm glow of victory is theirs, as too is the pop-up, and all the takings!

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge

The Ultimate Monkeys.

With Monkey Shoulder-based drinks such as ‘Mr. Berlosconi’s Love Child (“3 times Prime Minister, father of 5, 2500 court appearances and lead instigator of many bunga bunga parties, this drink has a complex character”) and the ‘Glasgow Kiss’ as well as some great service on an increasingly frantic night, they had our vote!

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge

A Lord Wellington
(“A brightly coloured hat at a jaunty angle makes everything better”)

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge

In fact, ‘Maud’ (pictured) and I got a fever, and the only prescription, was #MoreCowbell!

The Cowbell Bar pop-up can by found at 8 Shorts Gardens in 7 Dials all this week (through to Sunday), so be sure to ‘pop-in’ and pick up a prescription of your own. As well as a different Glaswegian DJ every night, they also have a Mr Lyan Curdled Colada on the menu now…



And, speaking of London Cocktail Week, if you find yourself around 7 Dials during the afternoon at all then it’s definitely worth checking out The Vintage Showrooms opposite the LCW Hub. There be tasty, *free* things in them there showrooms…