SKYY Vodka’s Glamour Live Bartender of Year party

by Katie on July 30, 2011

It’s one of life’s mysteries why some parties work and some others don’t despite some valiant efforts.  There can be the most hip and happening place, free-flowing alcohol, the ‘right’ guests and lots of dollahs spent on securing celebrity appearances and yet some just end up flat on their backsides.  Whereas others, thankfully, by dint of grace and goodwill just happen upon you and you’ll remember them for a l-o-n-g time.  This was the case when SKYY vodka sponsored the Bartender of the Year, a Glamour Live event earlier this week.  

So you may think it sounds iffy, right?  Bartender of Year, at a venue underneath Portobello’s Westway on a Monday night with only the regular party scenesters, the ‘Made in Chelsea’ crew as celebrity attendants?  Me too.  But you would have been wrong, wrongitty wrong.

To start with, the PR and security people were welcoming, delightful and efficient – always a bonus and then my guest and I wandered into the pink bathed light (‘No!’, I mentally screamed, ‘not another Cuckoo Club type venue’) of the bar where the obligatory Summer events ’11 sickly pink drinks were being served.  To the uninitiated, this Summer’s party season, it’s all been about the pink drink – cranberry, raspberry, chambord, over-sweet rose wine…you name it – it’s been killing the hallowed taste of vodka and champagne wherever we’ve trod.  But then a magical thing happened – doors where thrown open and the vast white rooms of The Supper Club revealed a huge square bar where the Bacchanalian revelry began.

We were there to celebrate Skyy Vodka’s first Interactive Bartending Compettion, hosted by BBC Radio 1 extra’s Sarah Jane Crawford, with a DJ set from Lawrence Friend.    The twist was in how we voted.  Following the success of SKYY Vodka’s Global Flair Challenge (, which visited countries across the globe searching for the most talented bartender, GLAMOUR LIVE was SKYY Vodka’s first fully interactive bartending competition experience in which the guests were given the chance to choose who is declared the best UK bartender.

Sixteen of the UK’s slickest bartenders who, in groups of four, were given time to shine within an allocated 25 minute slot (sometimes throwing the cocktails shakers around for entertainment but a swift  crowd yell of ‘no! – just serve the drinks’ stopped all that) while guests were provided with SKYY tip dollars allowing them to ‘tip’ (read, bribe) their favourite bartender.  The winner of each round  then went through to the final for their chance to win a £1000 cash prize and be crowned SKYY Vodka’s UK Bartender of the Year. 

This was the most fun I’ve ever had on a Monday night with bells on.  The guests were friendly and unpretentious, the bar tenders excellent, urging us on to tip them – we asked them to bung in extra vodka and, of course, bunged them extra dollars in the glass jars.  The music was just right for getting a party atmosphere going and urging the competitiveness of the bartenders in each round.  By round 4, we may have regretted our ‘party spirit’ as we’d drank it.   The ‘Made in Chelsea’ guests mingled and chatted, including the lovely Cheska Hull and Funda Onal while Ollie Locke appeared with a shy but gracious Chloe Green.  Frederik Ferrier happily posed for photographs.

This event rocked! Congratulations to all who organised and took part.  I’ll be back.

Please let me know what you think of the SKYY Vodka Glamour Live Bartender of the Year party and/or if you attended by leaving a comment in the box below.  Many thanks.

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