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G & J Greenall 'Best North West Bartender' announced

Published:  22 March, 2012

Joey Butcher from Manchester's Épernay Champagne Bar, is the winner of the first G & J Greenall, North West Best Bartender competition.

Butcher, a mixologist and supply teacher, was one of nine finalists asked to show their flair by serving a unique twist on the royal favourite, G&T, and by creating a long cocktail inspired by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - both using Greenall's Original London Dry Gin.

Butcher's offered a "twist" on a the conventional G&T using a touch of Laphroaig Quarter Cask single malt whisky.

His main cocktail named 'Cold Fusion' used a mix of Greenall's Original London Dry Gin, Giffard Litchi liqueur, apple juice, pineapple juice and cherry bitters.

Butcher won on taste, innovation, creativity, presentation and product knowledge.

The competition took place at the Ember Lounge, Malmaison, Manchester, where master distiller, Joanne Moore, awarded Butcher the G & J Greenall North West Best Bartender title and a £500 cash prize.

Judges were Joanne Moore, Carol Emmas from Harpers, and Kate Houghton, editor Cheshire Life.

Matyas Knopp, mixologist at Australasia Manchester, was also given a commendation for creating a "perfect" G&T.

Butcher said: " Gin is a huge growth category and it is becoming more and more popular on the back of the vodka boom.

"Manchester offers a particularly vibrant scene and there's a lot of growth in cocktail bars, especially around the Spinningfields area.

"Épernay's a really good bar to work for, as it offers lots of support and creative freedom."