The Buyer
London Spirits Competition has UK’s best bar talent as judges

London Spirits Competition has UK’s best bar talent as judges

The London Spirits Competition goes into 2022 very much on the front foot with news of even more big names from the worlds of hospitality, bars, mixology and brands joining its panel of judges. This is a competition that only uses professionals with direct buying and selling responsibilities to assess products based on their quality, value for money and what they look like on shelf. Here’s a behind the scenes look at who is on the judging panel this year.

Richard Siddle
18th January 2022by Richard Siddle
posted in Awards,

Award winning bars and Michelin star restaurants provide some of the judges in the 2022 London Spirits Competition. The awards are now open for entries. Click here to enter.

To get any spirits brand on a retail shelf, or the back bar in a top on-trade outlet you have to get past the all important gatekeeper. The manager, the owner, the drinks buyer, the ultimate decision maker with the power to either make or break a brand’s future in their outlet.

It’s those very same gatekeepers that the London Spirits Competition turns to to help decide which spirits are going to be awarded the top medals and trophies in its awards. The brightest talents in the sector that are every day in their jobs tasting, assessing and determining which brands they have on their lists. The individuals that know what it takes for a brand to succeed, to have the right credentials to stand out and live up to the competition and survive in one of the most competitive spirits markets in the world – the UK’s on and off-trade spirits sectors.

Whether the brands are targeted at major supermarkets, convenience stores or for the best bars and restaurants in the country it requires a certain set of skills to pick out the potential winners from all the spirits that are available or introduced to the market in any given year.

Top judges

Judges in the London Spirits Competition 2021 get down to business

The judges for the 2022 London Spirits Competition come from a wide range of businesses that reflect the diversity of the products they are judging. Name a prestigious bar, hotel or restaurant and the chances are they are represented on the judging panel. Be it Dukes Bar, The American Bar at the Savoy, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the NoMad Hotel, Claridge’s, Annabel’s they are all featured.

It is also a unique opportunity for these talents to come together to share their experiences and network. To share their stories and insights on what is happening in their bars and stores and businesses. Competitors but also colleagues in one of the most important spirits markets in the world.

Here is a breakdown of some of the top judges taking part in the 2022 competition.

The Judging Process

The London Spirits Competition is different from most other major international awards in that its judges are asked to go much further in how they pick out which products deserve a gold, silver or bronze medal. Rather than just taste the products blind and base their results on that, the judges are then shown the products, so that they can assess their packaging, design and also how much they cost to determine whether they offer true value for money at that price point. Individual scores are given for each category and then tallied together to come up with the final results.

Cocktail recipes

The London Spirits Competition has introduced a new initiative for the 2022 event that allows every brand owner, distiller or supplier entering the awards to submit a cocktail suggestion for each of the products they enter.

That way it hopes to give bartenders a quick, easy way to showcase any winning brand they list by working with that cocktail in their bar, or adapting it to one of their own. But crucially it also gives consumers a new way to enjoy that brand in a way the producer wants them to do.

Any cocktails entered will be included when the results for the 2022 competition come out in April 2022 and made a key feature of the London Spirits Competition website.

The cocktail recipes will also be featured on the London Drinks Guide, the dedicated consumer website set up by the Beverage Trade Network, organisers of the London Drinks Competitions, to help promote drinks, producers and suppliers that take part in its events. They will also be included on the Bartenders Business website and the other digital platforms that the Beverage Trade Network runs around the world including: Los Angeles Drinks GuideChicago Drinks GuideNew York Drinks Guide; and San Francisco Drinks Guide.

“This is a massive feature benefit enhancement we are doing for all the 2022 spirits entrants by giving them a platform to showcase their cocktails to end consumers and to trade,” says Sid Patel, chief executive of Beverage Trade Network that runs and owns the London Spirits Competition as part of its wider London Wine and London Beer competitions.

Scoring system

Here is a breakdown of how the scoring system works.

Quality Score: will be marked out of 100
Value Score: will be marked out of 100
Package Score: will be marked out of 100

Entry Details

  • Cost to enter: £170
  • Registration Ends – February 28, 2022
  • Warehouse Closes: March 4, 2022
  • Judging Date: March 22, 2022
  • Winners Announced: April 5, 2022
  • To enter your products click here.