Assistant manager at The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh, Andrew Lennie, has been crowned the winner of the first ever Talisker Race to Skye competition in a UK wide competition.

Launched earlier this year, the ‘Race to Skye’ competition invited bartenders from all over the UK to create a cocktail that embodied Talisker’s ‘Made by the Sea’ campaign. The ten best from each region were selected to compete in the semi-finals before the final six were chosen to go head-to-head in the two-day final.

Andrew Lennie commented:

I’m incredibly excited to be named the first ever ‘Race to Skye’ champion. It has been an amazing couple of months and competing in the heart of Skye has been unforgettable. It’s been a truly rewarding experience and I have learnt so much more about Talisker and Scotch throughout this journey.

In the grand final, Andrew had to compete against five bartenders battling it out in four rounds: a highball challenge, a whisky knowledge quiz, a blind tasting of the Talisker range, and a hip flask challenge, where competitors had to create a Talisker drink that could be enjoyed from said receptacle.

But it was the original creative challenge that attracted Andrew to take part in the competition, taking inspiration from his family.

Andrew Lennie continued:

‘I couldn’t turn down the opportunity of having the chance to work with some of the most well-respected whisky experts in the industry. I also thought the original brief tasking us to play on the brand’s campaign “Made by the Sea” was perfect for me. My Grandad Tom was a naval cadet during the Second World War and his stories have stayed with me growing up. I see him as a spirit “made by the sea” and my love for him and his stories, combined with my interest in whisky inspired me to present a drink that was special to me but also that celebrated the unique characteristics of Talisker.

Whisky is becoming a very versatile drink, and has become central to The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen cocktail and drink’s menu.

Andrew added: “At the bar, I always suggest customers try whisky neat before they decide whether they’d like to add something else. I’m also a huge advocate of offering single malts as the base for classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned, Whisky Sours or Rob Roys. Nowadays, there are also so many interesting flavour profiles in soda to accompany your dram. We have recently put a Glenkinchie 12 and rose lemonade on our cocktail menu and it’s been hugely successful. Sometimes the simplest serves prove the most popular.’

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