Congratulations to James from The Edgbaston – a great reason to give them a visit!

9th May 2016

The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge is delighted to announce that James Bowker Head Bartender of The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel is through to the Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of The Year final due to take place in June in London, with the GB winner going on to compete in Miami in a global final.

James was selected yesterday in London from a strong list of 50 semi-finalists who took part in a day of challenges to include creating a signature cocktail having been given the brief of ‘Fruit & Plants’  and having been inspired by someone who has made a difference to the environment.

This challenge had already taken place previously at The Edgbaston with James having chosen Henry David Thoreau for his conservation efforts and made a drink with Grass-Aromatised Tanqueray No. 10, Fresh Lemon, Pea, Quince and Apple Shrub and Tonic Water.  The drink needed to be fresh, vibrant and consisting of light flavours with a seasonal theme of spring or summer, the judges loved it and hence James was invited to London yesterday to take part in the semi-final. Three further challenges pursued yesterday with the results being announced at The Oriole Bar in London.

James Bowker started working at The Edgbaston as one of the opening team in May 2014 and quickly progressed to take on the role of Head Bartender. Having an absurd love of learning and challenging himself, James naturally found himself at countless cocktail competitions. Yesterday saw the biggest one yet: the UK semi-finals of World Class, the biggest cocktail competition in the world. After four intense rounds, to his great surprise and delight, he was announced as being in the UK Top Ten and will be competing in the finals next month.
James has also been shortlisted for the forthcoming Birmingham Food Drink & Hospitality Awards taking place in June in Birmingham for ‘Rising Food & Drink Star’.