Top bartenders of the UK ready to bring you the best spirits to drink in 2021

The top bartenders in the UK will taste spirits from around the world and pick the best spirits to drink in 2021.

When 10 of the world's best bars are in London, you know the city is serious about its bars. When some of the mixologists and bartenders heading these bars come together to taste and judge spirits at a competition, well, you know what you're going to get.

The winners will be spirits that have passed the test under the toughest eyes, noses, and mouths. These are folks who buy spirits for their bars and have been for years and mix the most impressive drinks. So would you like to know what Giorgio Bargiani, head mixologist at Connaught, the world's best bar thinks is the best gin to drink in 2021? 

Judges at the London Spirits Competition taste spirits from every possible category of spirits, ranging from absinthe to bitters and if you've ever heard of it: makgeolli. Judges will score spirits on the basis of their quality, value, and packaging. They will elect spirits for their drinkability and how they can be mixed and muddled with other ingredients to create great cocktails, be it at home or at a bar.

Spirits that speak to the judges' keen and knowledgeable palate are given scores between 0 to 100 and then awarded with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. These scores and medals will give you a great idea of the spirits you are likely to enjoy at home, mixed in a cocktail, or for when you're drinking at a pub or bar. 

The winning spirits demonstrate excellent quality, value for money, and attractive packaging, in short, a winner on all fronts. Last year’s winners saw some unique spirits like a tiki-inspired rum, an apple pie liqueur, a lychee-infused gin. 

Winning Gold

The London Spirits Competition differs in the way that it is designed because it considers the way we like to choose drinks. Because we buy spirits with our eyes, wallet, and taste they use the same criteria to judge how good a spirit is. It has to pass the test on all three fronts. 

What does it really mean for a spirit to be crowned with an LSC Gold medal? It has to have scored over 90 points, excelling in all three categories; quality, value, packaging. 

The final London Spirits Competition score is calculated through the formula: Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P).

Quality: First off, the spirits are blind-tasted solely based on their quality. This is definitely the most important criteria and carries weightage. 

Value: Does the spirit live up to the price being asked for it? That is the question the judges are looking to answer for this criteria. 

Packaging: Here, judges assess the bottle shape, label design, and whether it matches the quality of the spirit in the bottle. 

The judges will then come together to discuss the spirits as a whole to allocate scores in the three judging areas.

[Judges allotting scores for packaging]

The Signature Edition FOUR whiskey by St. Kilian Distillers took the topmost spot at the 2020 London Spirits Competition, grabbing a total of 97 points. Excelling in quality, value, and packaging, the whiskey was also given the titles of ‘Spirit of the Year’ and ‘Whiskey of the Year’, along with the German distillery taking home the title of ‘Distillery of the Year’. 

Similarly, Glasgow Distillery Company’s Fresh Citrus G52 Botanical Vodka, with 93 points took home the title of ‘Vodka of the Year’. 

Who’s Judging?

Bartenders and mixologists from The Ritz, The Stafford, The Connaught Bar, Gleneagles, Roka, 45 Park Lane, and Dukes Hotel are just some of the prestigious names represented on the 2021 judging panel at the London Spirits Competition.

These are some of the most prominent bar talents across the UK and with their extensive knowledge and years of experience in the industry, they know what people would love to drink, whether at home or a bar. Bar managers, bartenders, mixologists, and tastemakers, responsible for making day-to-day buying decisions for the leading bars and restaurants that they represent come together to lend their expertise at the London Spirits Competition. 

4th edition of the London Spirits Competition

2021 will mark the 4th year where LSC judges come together and pick their favorite spirits, curating a list of the best spirits from the thousands of bottles tasted.

Every year LSC pulls out the judges’ top 100 spirits for you to peruse, these are their top 100 selection of spirits from everything they have judged that year. The 2021 list is set to come out on March 30, 2021. Look through 2020’s Gold medalists and try to get your hands on one of these winners!

Popular on London Drinks Guide

Next Events

South San Francisco Conference Center, 255 South Airport Boulevard, South San Francisco, CA 94080, United States.

Bartender Spirits Awards 2024

Register Now

Related Blogs