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Discover Who’s Going to the Finals of the Caorunn 10 Year Switch

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So many incredible cocktails were submitted to the Caorunn 10 Year Switch.

Caorunn Gin is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving away quite a gift. The winner of the 10 Year Switch bartender competition will travel to the United Kingdom for five unforgettable days. The trip will include guest shifts at one of the United Kingdom’s coolest bars and a tour of the Caorunn distillery in the breathtaking Speyside region of Scotland.

So who’s the lucky bartender who’s getting this once-in-a-lifetime experience? That will be decided on July 31, 2019, at the international final in New York City. But right in time for International Gin Day on June 8, Caorunn announced the five U.S. finalists who will be competing for the grand prize.

The finalists are Jacee Coelho (Travelle at The Langham in Chicago), Scott Jenkins (Hide Bar in Dallas), Caitlyn Moorhead (The Winslow in New York City), Chris Olivier (The Tasting Room at Rock Brothers in Tampa) and Chris Bidmean (Blue Quarter in New York City).

Gaz Regan, the acclaimed author also known as the Godfather of Cocktails, evaluated the entries submitted to the Caorunn 10 Year Switch. He judged the recipes in four categories: the fusion of Scottish heritage and American influence, accentuation of the character of Caorunn gin by taking inspiration from at least one of its five Celtic botanicals, the drink’s well-balanced and crafted taste profile, and last but not least, its visual appeal and creative presentation.

“I was blown away by the way in which bartenders took on this challenge, specifically to create new drinks guided by the various botanicals used to make this fabulous gin,” says Regan. “Picking the five finalists was a challenge, but I’m extremely happy with the drinks that we’ve picked.”

There’s no limit to what you can create with Caorunn gin.

It’s a testament to the creativity of the finalists that they all met this criteria in distinct and delicious ways. Jacee Coelho had Scottish scenery in mind when crafting the Pure Berry cocktail: “My inspiration for this cocktail comes from the beautiful green fields of Scotland and the natural fruits that grow in them.”

With the Bog Standard, Scott Jenkins honed in on Caorunn botanicals bog myrtle and heather. “This drink is lush and soft, highlighting and enhancing the components of Caorunn gin,” he says. “It’s stirred to perfection and poured over a single cube for slow sipping and good times.”

Caitlyn Moorhead and Chris Oliver were both inspired by classic cocktails, but that’s pretty much where the commonalities end. “It’s a very booze-forward cocktail in the style of classic martinis,” Moorhead says, explaining her Gincident Report. “It’s herbaceous with subtle hints of fruit and bitters. It’s deliciously clean yet complicated on the palate.”

Oliver, on the other hand, modeled his recipe on a classic not usually associated with gin. “The Caorunn Calling is based on an Old Fashioned build. Bitters and lavender syrup are muddled with orange and grapefruit zest. Next, Caorunn is added with ice and stirred.”

There’s no limit to what you can create with Caorunn gin.

Chris Bidmead did a particularly good job at synthesizing Scottish and American ingredients in his 5 from Home cocktail. “I wanted to use ingredients that highlight the foraged botanicals in the gin, as well as local ingredients from New York. The apple brandy brings in apples from New York and New Jersey, and the tea syrup showcases the dandelion in Caorunn.”

Each of these talented bartenders will get the chance to show off their style and skills at the international finals, where five United Kingdom bartenders will also be competing. It’s going to be a tough task choosing a winner, so it’s a good thing there’s a whole lot of cocktail expertise on the judging panel.

Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr. Lyan), the founder of Dandelyan and Cub and one of the world’s most influential bartenders, has been named as the head judge of the 10 Year Switch. He will be joined by Caorunn gin master Simon Buley and U.S. head judge Gaz Regan.

And the incredible trip to the United Kingdom isn’t all that’s at stake in the 10 Year Switch. The winner will also have their cocktail featured as a Caorunn signature serve. So stay tuned to see which of these talented bartender gets a special anniversary gift from Caorunn gin.