City barman’s creation takes him to last 10 in worldwide competition in Inverness courir

By Emma Crichton

Grant mixes things up for cocktail finals.

AN Inverness barman is hoping to be crowned king of cocktails after he mixed his way to the finals of a worldwide competition. Grant Murray, general manager of popular city centre venues Bar One and Scotch and Rye, has been chosen to represent Britain in the Cherry Heering Cocktail Mixing Contest, as part of London Cocktail Week. The 30-year-old was up against 46 bar tenders from 46 countries but judges whittled it down to the final 10, who will be flown to the capital in October where the final five will be picked, before a winner is chosen by Simon Difford, the man behind drink encyclopedia Difford’s Guide. “I’m really happy,” said Mr Murray. “It’s great for the bars I manage, but more than anything I think it is great to see someone from Inverness representing the whole UK. “I’m not nervous at all, I’m really excited. I have been to cocktail events before but this will be the biggest and I will be mingling with essentially the world’s best bar tenders.” This is not the first time Mr Murray has had success in mixology competitions. Earlier this year he made it to the top 10 of a competition run by Cognac giant Martell, when owners went in search of 300 cocktails to showcase their brand on its 300th anniversary. Now Mr Murray, who lives in Lochardil, is hoping his creation, Barrel Roll, featuring Cherry Heering liqueur, single malt whisky and freshly squeezed lemon juice, will secure his latest prize. He called it a “smokey Scottish twist on a classic”. “I don’t know why I do so well, maybe it is because I keep up with trends or because I am so passionate about mixology and flavour pairing, but it seems to work,” he said. “I started bar work as a student in Dundee. I didn’t think I would end up doing this full-time but I fell in love with the industry and it quickly became a passion of mine.” The cocktail will soon be added to the Bar One menu.

Barrel Roll cocktail

Barrel Roll cocktail recipe

1/4 shot Islay single malt Scotch whisky

1 1/6 shot London Dry Gin

1/2 shot Cherry Heering liqueur

1/3 shot Benoit Serres creme de violette

1/2 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 shot sugar syrup

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