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What You Need to Know About the World's Best Martini Challenge

What You Need to Know About the World's Best Martini Challenge

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 10 January 2018

Forget Dry January, it’s all about Dry Ginuary as the World’s Best Martini Challenge comes to London next week. Contenders will be serving up martinis fit for 007 using gins that would put Tommy Shelby’s produce to shame. If there’s one thing the judges, attendees and drinks all have in common, it’s that they will all be high in spirits for this juniper jubilee.

Next Thursday, January 18, will see the World’s Best Martini Challenge return to London for its second year as five finalists battle it out and challenge last year’s winner, Daffy’s Gin, for the title at Oslo in Hackney.


Daffy's Gin, winner of the World's Best Martini Challenge 2017

A martini made using Daffy’s Gin, winner of the World’s Best Martini Challenge 2017 | Courtesy of Daffy's Gin

Martini connoisseurs Gary Sharp and James Thomas crowned Daffy’s Gin as the inaugural winner of the World’s Best Martini Challenge last year after sampling a selection of martinis from around the world.

This year, the selection process has become slightly tougher. Nine gins are currently vying for contender status in next Thursday’s final. These include: Arbikie, Bertha’s Revenge, Conker, Curio, Da Mhile, Kokoro, Lilliput, Pothecary and Salcombe.


Bertha's Revenge - Classic Martini

A classic martini made using Bertha’s Revenge gin | Courtesy of the World's Best Martini Challenge

Four of these will be eliminated, while the remaining five will go on to Oslo and attempt to wrest the juniper crown from Daffy’s Gin, which enjoys automatic qualification for the final as defending champion.

Contributing their extensive expertise as judges of the World’s Best Martini Challenge will be industry aficionados Anna Sebastian, Manager of Artesian Bar at The Langham, Rich Hunt, owner of Mint Gun Club and Mark Ludmon, editor of Bar Magazine.

Gin brands will be pairing up with a bar and a bartender before being tasked with producing two cocktails – a showcase martini and a classic martini. These will then be scrutinised by the judges and the thirsty public, who will pick their favourite.



Bartender pouring a martini | Courtesy of the World's Best Martini Challenge

The winner will receive the World’s Best Martini glass award and be bestowed with the illustrious ‘World’s Best’ title for the rest of the year.

Tickets are on sale from £16.50, including the booking fee. Guests will not only be able to meet the makers of the gins in contention and, most importantly, taste them; the public will also be assisting the judges with the vital task of choosing the the World’s Best Martini 2018. Get your tickets.