A top barman has shaken, rattled and stirred his way to a dream trip to New York.
Alex Carr, from Rawdon, shook off competition from 11 other skilled bartenders working for Jones Bar Group Ltd, which runs six bars in Leeds, at a battle of the cocktails at Brooklyn Bar, in Call Lane.
The 22-year-old will now be sent on a fact-finding mission to work at Dick and Jane’s Bar, in Brooklyn, New York, for a week to help the Leeds bar get a more authentic taste of America starting on November 29.
Alex, who is the bar manager at Leeds’s Brooklyn Bar, said: “It was nerve-wracking but it’s the chance of a life time really so you have just got to go in there all guns going.”
Competitors were asked to make either a Porn Star Martini or a Strawberry Mojito cocktail, pitch their own mass audience cocktail and give a 30-second speech on why they should be chosen for the trip last Wednesday.
A panel of five judges including Matthew Jones, managing director of Jones Bar Group Ltd, Radio Aire’s Naomi Kent and representatives of the Leeds List, City Dweller and Guest List Leeds scored the bartenders out of 500.
The group was narrowed down to a top three, before Alex and his bourbon, raspberry and dark chocolate Buffalo Smash cocktail was selected as the winner, winning by just two points.
Around 60 people turned up to cheer on the mixologists, while the competition was beamed over to the American bar through a live Skype video link.
Alex, who has always wanted to go to America, said: “Just even to win a trip over there is absolutely amazing but to have the chance to go out there and work in a bar in America – there are not any words to describe it.”
While Alex is in Brooklyn, the general manager at Dick and Jane’s Bar will come over to Leeds to see what life is like at Jones Bar Group Ltd’s locations – Shed Bar, SixtyToo Bar, Brooklyn Bar, Hirsts Yard, 51 per cent Bourbon and Bar 166.
Matthew Jones, managing director of Jones Bar Group Ltd, said: “Alex has just got huge amounts of skill, he’s very confident as a cocktail maker.
“Out of all the staff if we were to say, ‘who makes the best cocktails?’, fingers would be pointed at this guy.”