On Drinks: An Unconventional Bartender Challenge

One of the CultureJukebox team’s favourite whisky brands is launching a new competition for the UK’s most kick-ass bartending talent.

The 2016 is encouraging bartenders to rip up the rulebook and forget everything they know about traditional bartender competitions. It will have more regional heats, a grand final at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, and the grand prize of a fully stocked pop-up at London Cocktail Week for the winner.

Last year, more than 150 bartenders from all over the country took part in the championship, with the Dead Parrot team from West Sussex walking away with nearly £13,000 in takings at their London Cocktail Week bar.

This year, bartenders will not be required to sign up in a team as each contestant will compete as an individual throughout the entire competition. Both professionals and amateurs are eligible to enter, with the only requirements being a love of bartending, a passion for creating great drinks, and a minimum age of 18, of course.

Throughout April and May, the Monkey Shoulder UBC tour bus will rock up in towns and cities across the UK, kicking off with the first heat in Aberdeen on the 17th of April. Challenges include rounds on Knowledge, Mixing, Pouring, and Nosing as well as back of house organisational skills such as Stock Take. Testing on Tray Service and Round Building will also be included as part of the Regional Heats. To raise the stakes, all entrants will be scored and ranked on a national—and worldwide leaderboard hosted online for all to see.

“This year’s UBC is going to be epic! We’ve made it easier than ever to sign up, and we’re running even more heats than last year so that more people will have a chance to compete. Think of it as a mash up of Tough Mudder, Britain’s Got Talent, The Apprentice and Eurovision for the bartending community – but much more fun and rewarding of course. It really supports and nurtures the next generation of bartenders so we encourage anyone who loves bartending to enter, either to springboard a burgeoning career in the industry or as a platform for showcasing already awesome bar skills.” ~ Monkey Shoulder brand amBADASSador Grant Neave

To register as a contestant or a spectator for Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship visit the website.

London Games Festival Fringe: Mario Kart Tournament in London’s Little Italy

Start your engines! One of Nintendo’s classic games is coming to Clerkenwell, London, this April with a unique Super Mario Kart tournament  

The tournament is part of a series of events happening across the capital as part of the first-ever London Games Festival Fringe.

The Tournament is being held on Thursday 7 April at 6.30pm, in the basement of creative agency Unity’s Clerkenwell office in ‘Little Italy’. It will pit London’s creatives against each other in a one-off knockout tournament.

The tournament will be played on the new WiiU version of Mario Kart 8, with knockout racing battles to find a champion for each side of the city. The night will then climax in what promises to be a legendary race to find London’s one true champion.

The event is organised by Unity and production company Blueprint Film.  The two companies came together over a shared history of looking out for banana peels and firing red shells! Free drinks are on offer from the brilliant Brooklyn Brewery too.

In addition to the serious business of showing off gaming skills, the event will also be a networking opportunity for those working in the gaming or creative industries. And with beer, soft drinks and a tuck shop available throughout the evening, there will be plenty of opportunity for the drivers to top up their fuel. Fancy your chances? Indulge your inner Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Peach, Toad or Yoshi and let the countdown begin. Sign-up here.

London Games Fest - MARIO KART TOURNAMENT -  Unity

For more information on the awesome line-up of London Games Festival Fringe events, check out their website. A  blog on some of the highlights is coming soon!