Remy Savage of France is the winner of the Bombay Sapphire World's Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Savage took home the accolade following an outstanding performance at the global final in London, which saw him compete against 14 other creative bartenders from around the world. Now in its third year, Bombay Sapphire challenged the competitors to create a cocktail inspired by the competition's chosen location. This year, England was selected as the host country, inviting the bartenders into the home of the Bombay Sapphire distillery, Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire. Following the preview visit to the distillery in Hampshire, the group then travelled to London, home to some of the world's best bars and its deep-rooted connections to the history of gin.
His cocktail, 'Paper Anniversary', was inspired by his preview visit to Laverstoke Mill, the brand's soon-to-open gin distillery in the beautiful British countryside. The unique recipe features homemade paper syrup, which provides a subtle scent of paper, linking back to the illustrious and interesting history of Laverstoke Mill that was shared during his time at the distillery this week.
The six-day fully immersive experience was hosted in dual locations to show the notable contrast between the idyllic and peaceful countryside of Hampshire in the South West of England and the vibrant, fast-paced atmosphere found in London, home to some of the world's best bars and its deep-rooted connections to the history of gin.
Winner Remy Savage from Paris, France, was selected from 14 finalists from Europe, North America, South Africa, Japan and Mexico who had each earned a place in the global final by fighting off a collective total of more than 3,500 competing bartenders in the world. Each bartender created a cocktail using Bombay Sapphire gin which was then judged by a panel of industry experts, including Jacob Briars, Head of Global Advocacy and Training at Bacardi; Ryan Chetiyawardana (A.K.A Mr Lyan) Founder of White Lyan; Alex Kratena, Head Bartender at Artesian Bar, The Langham; and Hamish Smith, Editor of The World's 50 Best Bars and Drinksint.com.
Raj Nagra Bombay Sapphire Global Brand Ambassador, who hosted the competition, said, "Our aim for this competition is to inspire creativity through mixology; not only within bartenders but by everyone that enjoys cocktail making around the world. We've explored the most magnificent parts of England, understanding first-hand how our exotic gin is made, whilst discovering the 'hidden London' keeping us enchanted by its cosmopolitan vibe and ever changing landscape. The culmination of a once-in-a-lifetime experience ends here as we crown Remy Savage the winner of Bombay Sapphire World's Most Imaginative Bartender 2014."
As the winner, he will receive a place in the Cocktail Hall of Fame in the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England. Furthermore, a prize fund to the value of £10,000 has been awarded, including a beautiful precious sapphire stone pin - the jewel after which Bombay Sapphire is named - and the fantastic opportunity to attend any one of the world's leading trade shows alongside Bombay Sapphire's Raj Nagra. Remy Savage will also be at the centre of a fantastic partnership with Virgin Atlantic, as they work together in creating a new signature cocktail that will feature as part of the airline's Clubhouse menus globally from Heathrow to JFK.
Remy Savage commented on winning the competition, "This is a total surprise, and it feels amazing to be chosen as Bombay Sapphire's World's Most Imaginative Bartender 2014. I only enter competitions I feel passionate about, and this was a truly mind-blowing experience. I was inspired by the commonwealth notes that were created at Laverstoke Mill all those years ago - I wanted to replicate the flavour of paper and celebrate the history of gin and I believe my cocktail is a delicious celebration of this."
Sarah Lyons, Bombay Sapphire's Global Marketing Executive said, "In just three years, we've created a platform for celebrating innovative ways of cocktail making in the industry. Throughout this event each of the finalists has witnessed the real craftsmanship that Bombay Sapphire gin illustrates, travelling to the ends of the earth to source each of our 10 exotic botanicals and the unique vapour infusion distillation process."
45ml - Bombay Sapphire
15ml - Homemade paper syrup
1 dash - Salt solution
Method: Just stir and serve