The Cocktail Trading Company wins Jim Beam Shake History Competition

The Cocktail Trading Company_Fred Noe

One of London’s newest bars, The Cocktail Trading Company, has made a big splash on the cocktail scene, winning Jim Beam’s Shake History bartender competition on the 6th November at The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch.

Beating out an impressive line-up of finalists, including Bristol’s The Milk Thistle in a tiebreaker round, The Cocktail Trading Company’s Elliot Ball, Andy Mil and Olly Brading wowed judges including Jim Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe with their theatrical performance and bartending expertise. As a grand prize, they will travel to Kentucky, the home of the world’s number one Bourbon Jim Beam, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse in 2015.

The Cocktail Trading Company was met with competition from MASH (London), City Social (London), The Milk Thistle (Bristol), The Lace House (Nottingham) and Steam and Rye (London) with a crowd of 50-plus people cheering them on.

The teams battled over two rounds. Round One: Make and present the original Jim Beam cocktail they entered the competition with that they felt was worthy of making history and represented the personality and style of their bar. Round Two: Using ingredients from a mystery box, teams had to create a sharing cocktail inspired by a song played live by bluegrass band The Thumping Tommys.

It was too close to call for the judges, which included Amanda Humphrey of Maxxium UK’s Mixxit team, so a speed round between finalists The Cocktail Trading Company and The Milk Thistle was in order. Both teams raced against the clock to make an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Boulevardier, Whiskey Sour, whiskey highball and a bourbon milk punch. The Cocktail Trading Company was victorious, making the six cocktails in just over one minute.

It wasn’t just speed that got the team to the finish line, however. The trio put on an impressive performance when making their original Jim Beam cocktail, Welcome to Kentucky, Have a Nice Day, inspired by Asian ingredients. The drink was built in a wok and then packaged in Chinese takeaway containers and cleverly ‘delivered’ to the judges complete with a menu and printed receipt detailing key Jim Beam facts. The garnish was a scotch bonnet chili and homemade deep fried sweet bacon noodles made with American honey, dusted with icing sugar. Of course, there were straws in place of chopsticks so the judges could sample their creation.

An exclusive Jim Beam masterclass followed the competition. Fred Noe, led the group through a tasting of Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Jim Beam Signature Craft 12-Year and the newest addition to the bourbon portfolio from Maxxium UK, Knob Creek Rye.

Maxxium UK’s Marketing Controller for Imported Whiskey, Janice McIntosh says: “Our Shake History event was a huge success with talented bartenders from across the country presenting impressive cocktails featuring a range of bourbons from the Jim Beam portfolio.

“This competition was made even more special with our guest of honour Fred Noe who not only judged the competition, a first for him in the UK, but led an exclusive bourbon masterclass for our attendees.

“We are excited to welcome The Cocktail Trading Company into the Jim Beam family and celebrate the success of Jim Beam and the Make History campaign by rewarding them with the unique chance to travel to the Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Kentucky to follow in the brand’s footsteps and make their own history.”

The Shake History competition is part of the global Jim Beam Make History campaign, which invites bourbon fans around the world to “Come As Friends, and Leave As Family.”