A talented bartender from Plymouth is mixing it with the best in the business after winning a UK competition to create a signature cocktail.
Leon White, has been crowned Grosvenor Casinos Bartender of the Year after wowing the judges’ taste buds with his own mixology creation. Leon’s cocktail was called Saint and Sinner and focused on the duality of the flavour profiles of two of the main ingredients – the citrus of the Cointreau and smokiness of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
Leon, a bartender from Grosvenor Casino Plymouth, astounded the judges with his concoction who were impressed that all the details were so well thought through, from the glassware to the flavour combination and scent of the garnish. Made up of Cointreau, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Johnnie Walker Black Label and finished with an orange garnish, Saint and Sinner was a real crowd pleaser at the competition and managed to shake off talent from 51 other Grosvenor Casino venues.
Leon is so passionate about bartending and cocktail-making and loves to make creations for friends and watch cocktail chemistry on YouTube. Being able to do this for a living, and winning titles like Bartender of the Year, is a dream come true for the 24-year-old.
Leon said about his win: “To be recognised as Grosvenor Casinos Bartender of the Year is simply amazing. The competition itself was so inspiring and we ended up rooting for everyone, so the fact that I have won is so shocking to me!”
George Robertson, National F&B Operations Manager at Grosvenor Casinos, said: “Leon really impressed the judges with his Saint and Sinner cocktail – it was the perfect mix of sour and smoke and the smell of the citrus was the finishing touch.
At Grosvenor Casinos, we love supporting people’s passions, and it’s clear that Leon is able to showcase his passion for cocktail making every day at work. We hope that Leon’s win will inspire future mixologists to give bartending a go and consider a rewarding career in hospitality.”
James Dean, Diageo National Account Manager, commented on Leon’s win: “Diageo and Johnnie Walker Black Label are proud to have partnered with Grosvenor Casinos for 2023’s Bartender of the Year. Investing in talent and the future of the hospitality industry is something we are incredibly passionate about.
As a member of the judging panel, I was blown away by the standard of the entrants, the creativity, passion, charisma and equally importantly, the cocktails on display. Served with flair and creativity, Leon’s Saint and Sinner cocktail really stood out to us and was a very deserving winner.”
With his new title, Leon plans to take his bartending to new heights, trialling new flavours and drinks. He loves the challenge of making cocktails for menus and for individuals and cannot wait to continue to do this at Grosvenor Casino Plymouth. As part of his prize, Saint and Sinner will be added to the cocktail menu at all Grosvenor Casinos.