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Monkey Shoulder sets off in search of the Ultimate Bartender

Published:  20 February, 2015

Scotch whisky brand, Monkey Shoulder, is launching a new competition to find the "Ulitmate Bartender" in the UK with a series of regional trials with the overall winner getting the chance to run their own pop up bar during London Cocktail Week.

The Monkey Shoulder team will be travelling across the country over the coming weeks in its own branded tour bus as they host competitions and offer training sessions at all levels along the way.

The winning pop-up bar at London Cocktail Week will be built, stocked and promoted by Monkey Shoulder with all money raised going to the winning team.

Last year's winners, The Cowebell, managed to take home £12,000.

Grant NeaveGrant NeaveScotch whisky Monkey Shoulder's new UK brand ambassador Grant Neave.

Grant Neave, Monkey Shoulder's UK brand ambassador, said bartenders will be judged on back-of-house organisational skills, general spirits knowledge, speed of service, as well as how well they are able to entertain guests.

The regional hearts will see teams of three compete in eight cities over nine days. The final three teams will compete in the final on June 4.

At each stage the winning teams will be voted for by leading trade figures, but also by the general public.

Neave explained: "Monkey Shoulder's Ultimate Bartender Competition was the first of its kind last year: a competition that not only celebrated all aspects of bartending and bar ownership (from stock take to business plans), but also included all those who work in venues and make bars special. We were keen to not just glorify one single bartender."

The competition opens for entries on February 23 and closes on March 9.

You can watch Grant Neave's Ultimate Bartender Championship 2015 video here.