Dead Rabbit co-owner wants to share New York expertise with north's bartenders

A NORTH Belfast man who has found success in the Big Apple faster than the proverbial New York minute is aiming to share his expertise with bartenders back home.

Irish whiskey Jameson has joined forces with homegrown cocktail connoisseur, Sean Muldoon, founder of the world’s best bar, The Dead Rabbit, to give Northern Ireland bartenders the opportunity to win a trip to New York.

Sean, along with co-founder, Jack McGarry, who are both from Belfast's Ardoyne area, are behind legendary New York bars, The Dead Rabbit and BlackTail at Pier A.

Having cut their teeth at Belfast’s 5-star Merchant Hotel, the pair have remained advocates of the city and its burgeoning bartending scene.

The winner will gain behind the scenes access to the world’s best bar, the Dead Rabbit and BlackTail at Pier A, as well as flights from Dublin to New York for two adults, three nights’ accommodation in a four-star hotel and $1,000 spending money.

The Jameson NYC Experience challenge, which has been designed by drinks company Dillon Bass in partnership with Drinksology, aims to uncover the greatest movers and shakers in bartending from across Northern Ireland.

The contest is being run under the question: "You’re good, but are you NYC good?"

The competition, which will be judged by Sean and a panel of industry legends will see 10 finalists battle it out at a live final in Belfast on February 20, demonstrating their skills in three key areas: knowledge, innovation and speed.

The judging panel includes Ger Garland, Irish Whiskey Ambassador for Irish Distillers Pernod-Ricard; Jason Scott, owner of Bramble in Edinburgh (featured in Drinks International’s The World’s 50 Best Bars); and Craig Harper, UK On Trade Manager for Fever-Tree.

The competition will begin with a blind taste test to assess the contestants’ palate and product knowledge, followed by the creation of an innovative cocktail using products from the “Jameson larder”.

Contenders will also be asked to conduct a speed round, where they will need to ensure to maintain the perfect serve under pressure.

“Over the years, Jack and I have managed to win a lot of awards – from the Merchant in Belfast to the Dead Rabbit and now BlackTail in New York," Sean Muldoon said.

“We know what it takes: the dedication, the obsessive attention to detail, the care and the craft. I’d love to see those qualities reflected by the next generation of bartenders back home. 

“I’m looking forward to the competition – and discovering someone who’s going to amaze us all."

:: Entries for the Jameson NYC experience are now open, and can be submitted via www.JamesonNYCexperience.com, the closing date for online entries is Wednesday, February 8, 2017.  

Ryan CrownIRISH NEWS