Jameson Irish Whiskey, produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, hosted its global bartender summit in Ireland between the 23rd and 26th of June; Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming. Bartenders gathered to connect, collaborate and learn in the final step of a global journey to bring bartenders from across the world together.
Bartenders descended from all four corners of the globe, with 28 countries and over 120 guests in attendance, including from Canada, Korea, UK, and Brazil. The theme for 2019, ‘From Farm to Glass’, challenged bartenders to collaborate with their local communities – and each other – utilising what their local surroundings and the Irish countryside has to offer in order to experiment with Jameson and create new cocktail serves. Alongside the global competition, bartenders took part in workshops and seminars with expert craftsmen to further enhance their bartending skills and careers.
First gathering in Dublin, bartenders were shown how to draw upon even the most urban of environments by Simon O’Donnell, creator of a hydroponically powered urban farm in Dublin 1, using energy from fish to create fresh, locally-grown produce. Next, guests were taught about the effect of glassware on the drinking experience during a design workshop, going from initial concept to design, as well as enjoying a workshop on using clarification and carbonation to create complex, interesting drinks with the simplest of ingredients. Later, DJ Aidan Kelly hosted a “Music in the Mix” workshop, discussing the importance of music in the bar environment and the potential benefits behind a collaboration with a DJ.
From Dublin, the group headed to Cork where the educational experience continued, focusing in-depth on Irish whiskey production, with a tour of both the old and new Midleton Distillery discovering the Garden Stillhouse and the maturation warehouses, a cooperage demonstration led by Ger Buckley, 5th generation Master Cooper, and a workshop in the Micro Distillery with Apprentice Distiller Henry Donnelly, learning about all things Irish whiskey and innovation.
Bartenders competing in the cocktail competition first took part in a speed round, which challenged them to create 10 classic Irish cocktails in five minutes. The top 15 then went on to showcase their ‘From Farm to Glass’ cocktails created during the local heats, using ingredients from their communities. The finale of the global Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming competition concluded the festivities, with the top five bartenders picking teams made up of bartenders from other countries to join them in creating a cocktail menu – exemplifying the collaborative spirit of the Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming, fostering lasting relationships and bringing together different cultures.
Using ingredients from both their local communities and the fresh Irish produce available at Ballymaloe House, the birthplace of modern Irish cuisine, the top five bartenders created three new ‘From Farm to Glass’ serves, with two of the judge’s choice to be tasted.
Ania Kulak representing Norway was crowned champion, with her ‘From Farm to Glass’ menu including ‘In The Green’, ‘High on Life’ and ‘Goosebomb!’. Ania embraced the ‘From Farm to Glass’ concept, impressing the judges with her level of commitment to utilising local ingredients in a creative way. She based her menu on the cultures of her teammates (hailing from China and Sweden), combining this with the theme – showing a true spirit of collaboration. As the global winner, she will receive a partnership with Jameson Irish Whiskey to develop a project in support of her local community with funding of up to €20,000.
Bartenders around the world have been key to the success of Jameson. To host this global gathering of bartenders in Ireland has been a real honour and reinforces our commitment to fostering collaboration, innovation and creativity among the globe’s leading mixologists.
As cocktail competitions continue to evolve, we’re incredibly proud to be able to offer a programme that brings together the excitement and interactivity of a global competition, while showing our commitment to supporting bartender education, community and innovation.
– Simon Fay: Business Acceleration Director at Irish Distillers
The Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming 2019 celebrated the core Jameson value of facilitating meaningful human connections by inspiring participants to meet, share knowledge and collaborate with local, knowledgeable craftsmen – both in their home countries and Ireland. The judging panel was made up of distinguished figures across the world of drinks, including Will Meredith, Head Bartender at Lyaness, London, Andre Duncan, the 2018 Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming Global champion, Angel Ji, award-winning Malaysian bartender, and Billy Leighton, Master Blender at Irish Distillers.
Jameson Barrelmen’s Homecoming 2019 champion Ania Kulak’s winning cocktail recipes:
In the Green
60ml Jameson Black Barrel
15ml chocolate mint syrup
3 dashes homemade Jameson Black Barrel bitters (with star anise, clove, and wormwood)
Garnish: Chocolate mint leaf
Stir the Jameson Black Barrel, syrup, and Jameson Black Barrel bitters with ice, strain and pour into the glass, then garnish with the chocolate mint leaf to serve.
High on Life
50ml Jameson IPA
30ml rhubarb juice
15ml pineapple weed syrup
2 dashes Jameson Wild Seaweed Bitters
Garnish: Pineapple weed sprig
Shake the Jameson IPA, rhubarb juice, syrup, and Jameson Wild Seaweed Bitters with ice, strain and pour into the glass, then garnish with the pineapple weed sprig to serve.
60ml Jameson Original
45ml strawberry syrup
10ml gooseberry syrup
Top: Gooseberry foam
Garnish: Forget-me-not flower
Shake the Jameson Original and both syrups with ice, strain and pour into the glass, top with the gooseberry foam then garnish with the forget-me-not to serve.
Jameson Whiskey is available to buy from these Merchants:-