BARTENDERS from Huddersfield battled it out to be named the best in town last Thursday.

Four ‘mixologists’ from local ven- ues took part in the Huddersfield Bartender of the Year contest at Varsity before a crowd of 150 people. Each had to create a signature drink with Corky’s vodka shots to impress a judging panel.

Sammie Barnes, a 22-year-old student from Yates, produced a gin based, fruity cocktail called Serendipity. Martyn Dixon, 22, a full-time bartender at the Cotton Factory, created his own Blueberry Muffin cocktail. Darren Harbrecht-Parker Esq, 24, from hosting bar Varsity, made a dry, cherry-based cocktail.

But it was 20-year-old Justin Rocket, who works at Flying Circus, who took the title. He produced a Cookie Monster cocktail, which included chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate, Baileys, triple sec, ice-cream and full fat milk.

Each bartender was judged on their creative use of ingredients, flair, charisma and the taste of their cocktail.

Judges said Justin’s recipe and his bottle throwing techniques won him the contest.

He received a trophy and a bottle of Examiner champagne – as the competition was sponsored by Fresh.

Justin, originally from South Africa, said the event had been great. “It was amazing, it’s been a great turnout.”

He credited his manager Steve Blackem with teaching him ‘everything he knew’.

The event was organised by three third year Huddersfield University students Liz Matania, Chris Walker and Alina Nowakowska as part of their marketing degree course.

It also raised £275 for Huddersfield cancer charity The Laura Crane Trust.