Competing alongside some of the top bartenders in Leeds, Elysa McGuire from Below Stairs, has been named as one-of-five UK regional finalists in an international cocktail competition curated by Caorunn Gin, the 10-year-switch, and is now set to compete in the competition’s final in New York City this July.

Elysa said her winning cocktail, ‘Along the River Spey’ was inspired by the unique blend of botanicals in Caorunn Gin, leading her to create a cocktail that bridges the gap between a martini and whisky classics such as the smoky Rob Roy.

About her winning cocktail Elysa said: “I wanted to create something that brought out the complex blend of botanicals while celebrating a remarkably unique gin. Highlighting the Dandelion leaf, Heather and Coul Blush Apple while creating something that no matter where you are in the world, even as far as the Big Apple, this cocktail seeks to transport you to walking along the River Spey with a good drink in hand. That little taste of home away from home for those Scots who shaped the American cultural and the political landscape.”

“Winning the regional and being able to make this drink for an all-star panel of judges is an amazing opportunity and it is such an honour to represent Leeds in New York. I will be preparing for it by refining my ingredients and secretly researching the best pizza slices in NYC.

Elysa will compete against four other regional finalists from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and London in New York City on 31 July. One winner will be chosen from the U.K and the U.S with both receiving an international prize – the opportunity to switch countries and to work in one of the coolest bars in their respective countries to experience American and British culture at their finest.

The UK winner will also receive the honour of seeing their 10 Year Switch cocktail named as Caorunn’s signature serve in bars across the UK.  

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