By Sacha Delfosse – editor bars&clubs

Melbourne bartender, Jack Sotti, has been declared the winner of Diageo Australia’s on-premise Ketel One Bloody Mary competition, and will now be heading to The Netherlands to visit the vodka brand’s distillery.

Sotti, from award-winning bar Eau-de-Vie Melbourne, beat more than 70 other entries to claim the top spot with his Bloody Mary twist, The Ernest, which payed homage to Ernest Blyfield – one of the founding fathers of the Bloody Mary.

The Ernest is made using homemade tomato juice (made from salt cured tomatoes), pickled onion purée, anise and pimento, and is served in a retro can and garnished with a celery stick and pickled onions.

The competition was run alongside a series of Bloody Mary workshops hosted by Ketel One brand ambassador, Chris Hysted, where the core elements of the classic drink – including base, citrus, body, seasoning, spice, and garnish – were discussed in detail.

“With this initiative we’re giving back to our highly engaged bartending community, and it has been a pleasure to see Ketel One inspire them to put their own unique spin on the Bloody Mary,” said Diageo Australia commercial director, David Halliday.

“We’re very excited for Jack Sotti to be able to visit the home of Ketel One vodka, and learn more about the rich history of the family owned brand, which has been distilling for more than 300 years.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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