What to Drink

Top 100 spirits recommended by London’s spirits experts

London's top bartenders, spirits buyers and mixologists will bring you the top 100 spirits brands

The world’s best spirits will once again be battling it out and vying for attention in the London Spirits Competition, which goes into its fourth year on the back of record entries for the 2020 event, increased recognition around the world and a new consumer website, Partnership and integration with The London Drinks Guide, to help promote the brands, distillers and their importers who pick up medals and trophies in the event.

When it comes to competing on the back bar of the most prestigious outlets in the world than knowing you are amongst the best in class in London stands for a lot. That’s what is up for grabs in the 2021 London Spirits Competition which is open now for entries from spirits brands all over the world.

Judges are made up of some of the most influential bartenders, mixologists, bar managers and owners in London – arguably the world’s most prestigious and influential drinks and spirits market in the world.  If you can make it in London, then there is no reason why you can’t make it to any other city. By tasting, sipping and assessing your products the judges are also the ones that will potentially then go on to then pour and serve them in their outlets.

The Judges

The first edition of 2021 London Spirits Competition judges is out which includes some of the best bartenders, mixologists and spirits buyers and tastemakers in business.

View all judges

Cameron Attfield, GB World Class Bartender Of The Year 2019 and Bar Manager at Harrods

Giorgio Bargiani, Head Mixologist at The Connaught Bar

Ivan Dixon, Head of Spirits at Enotria&Coe

Ludovica Fedi Head Bartender, The Gleneagles Hotel

Maria Antonietta Varamo, Assistant Restaurant and Bar Manager

Thomas Aske, Founder at Blank Canvas Collective

Aurelie Montana Assistant Bar Manager, D&D London

Luca Rapetti Assistant Bar Manager at Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard

Nelson Reis Bartender at Soho House & Co

Tudor Cosmin Head Bartender at Marriott International

Vitor Lourenço Head of Bars at Harbour Hotels

Laurenz Ortlieb Senior Bartender at The Ritz London

Cosmin Tigroso Head Bartender at Vintry & Mercer

Emilia Wrelton Bar Manager at The Ivy St. Helen’s Square.

Luke Ridge Assistant General Manager at Pali Hill & Bandra Bhai

Tiago Mira Bar Manager at The Goring Hotel

Cristiana Pirinu Bartender presso The Donovan Bar [...] View all judges

The top 100 spirits brands

The top 100 spirits list is curated and picked up by a leading panel of top-level spirits buyers with current direct commercial buying responsibility or spirits consultants and experts who are also directly involved in the development of new spirits brands or buying spirits for commercial resale. The list of judges was drawn from leading retail chains, wholesalers, distributors, and on-trade groups across a variety of channels and disciplines including multiple retailing, convenience stores, cash and carries, specialist retailers, casual and fine dining, hospitality and the travel industry.

St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR. Source Facebook

Spirit Of The Year: St. Kilian Signature Edition FOUR by St. Kilian Distillers GmbH (it scored 97 points making it the top score in the event)

Judging process

In keeping with the other London Competitions drinks are also judged on how they taste, their quality, their price, their packaging and their design. All those factors are taken into consideration before awarding a medal. That is the way the consumer buys. They buy with their eyes, their wallet and their taste, says Patel.

The judging is broken down like this: Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Wine Competition Score.

A separate weighted score is given for each of the three parts of the judging process (Quality gets twice the weight.

Quality score: marked out of 100.

Value score: marked out of 100

Packaging score: marked out of 100.

Judging Date: March 17, 2021

Winners Announced: March 30, 2021

Click here for more details on how to enter the 2021 competition.

Click here for The London Drinks Guide. 

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