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Diageo GB World Bartender champ prepares to launch NY pop-up bar

Published:  01 August, 2016

Aidan Bowie, Diageo Reserve's GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2016, is preparing to bring a taste of London to the Big Apple when he opens up his own pop-up restaurant there this week.

Following his success in the GB finals, the senior bartender at Dandelyan bar in London will be partnering with Llama Inn in Williamsburg, NYC, to open a pop-up bar on August 3.

Open for one night, Bowie will be bringing his experience at Danelyan to the New York bar, and adding an American twist to his bespoke cocktail list.

Speaking to Harpers on Friday, Bowie said he is looking forward to tailoring his serves to a US crowd.

He said: "I've only been here for a few days and have been checking out a bit of the bar scene. The drinking culture out there is very different. The flavours are a lot bolder. Essentially, I've taken a similar approach to what we do at Dandelyan, which is rather than just to make a tasty cocktail, we try to create something which has a story."

"A lot of the judges will be from this area so it has been the perfect opportunity to explore cocktail culture and drinking trends in this market."

Bowie has prepared four bespoke serves to match the Peruvian-style menu at Llama Inn, using Don Julio Blanco, Tanqueray No. TEN, Bulleit and Ron Zacapa.

"I've looked at the menu and tried to match it with local flavours. We've got a Don Julio tequila blanco with Mexican flavours like cilantro, citrus and spice and chocolate. Also I'm incorporating a Bulleit bourbon with classic American flavours, infused with toasted popcorn," he explained.

During his time in the US, he has also been to New Orleans to attend the Tales of the Cocktail spirits awards, when he got the chance to check out some of the judges and their judging styles who will be at the Diageo Reserve World Class final in September.

"I was lucky as some of the presenters will be judging me at the final," Bowie said.

"It was interesting to see what their preferences were. For example, Dave Arnold has a concise and scientific approach, whereas David Wondrich prefers the romantic aspect and likes a story with every drink."