The winner of the inaugural OGGS® Shake Off Challenge has been named as London-based mixologist Ryan Saunders.
Saunders, who is bar manager at East London Liquor Company’s bar and restaurant, beat three other talented mixologists in the competition final, which saw the finalists’ skills put to the test across two rounds at the event, hosted at the award-winning Mezzanine Bar at The Stratford Hotel in London.
The bartender impressed the Shake Off judges, who included Pritesh Mody, cocktail expert on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch; award-winning mixologist Nicole Sykes, UK brand ambassador for Maker’s Mark and former general manager of revered London bar Satan’s Whiskers, with his excellent mixology skills, strong focus on sustainability and the stylish presentation of his serves.
The finalists were challenged to create a retro-inspired cocktail, as well as a cocktail from a mystery box of ingredients during the exciting competition final, organised by OGGS® Aquafaba, a plant-based egg white alternative, which is now available to bar operators across the UK.
Commenting on the award, Saunders said: “I’m thrilled to have won against such talented competition. I wanted the focus of my entered cocktail to celebrate local ingredients, as well as being accessible to most dietary requirements by keeping it vegan. At the bar we believe no one should miss out, and OGGS Aquafaba makes it really easy to suit the needs of every guest without compromising on flavour or quality.”
Saunders’ winning cocktails were ‘Fir Coat’, which combined East London Kew Gin, apple ‘honey’, spruce shrub, OGGS® Aquafaba and Bordelet poire cider.
He described the drink as: “A play on the warming effect of booze, with a nod to the Kew grown Douglas Fir that features as the key botanical in the gin. It’s a juicy, piney, seasonal sour that is accessible to all.”
His mystery box challenge cocktail was called ‘Fennely Enough’, combining H by Hine Cognac, lemon juice, OGGS® Aquafaba, créme de peche, cacao blanc, micro-fennel and a dash of Absinthe.
Head judge Pritesh Mody, founder of World of Zing, said: “All judges were so impressed with the creativity, skill and flair shown by all the finalists’ in crafting their cocktails. But Ryan impressed with the great presentation of his cocktails and for pushing the boundaries on sustainability with the fir shrub. It would be great to see more mixologists using these types of ingredients.”
Hannah Carter, founder and CEO of OGGS®, said: “OGGS® is thrilled to now be part of the UK’s vibrant, dynamic and innovative UK bar industry and to be working closely with operators to help support their businesses around the growing consumer demand for more inclusive cocktails and helping to remove an allergen from the bar.
“We were really excited to see the excellent response to the competition, with the broad range of inspiring recipe entries from bartenders, showcasing just what a versatile cocktail ingredient OGGS® Aquafaba is for using with a wide range of different spirits and non-alcoholic ingredients.”
OGGS® Aquafaba is already being used by mixologists including at The Zetter Townhouse in London’s Marylebone, Park Chinois in Mayfair and Las Iguanas.
OGGS® was founded in 2018 after founder and CEO, Hannah Carter, developed an egg white replacement made from chickpea extract, which is stabilised and performs consistently. OGGS® bakery range, made vegan by substituting hens’ eggs for Aquafaba, hit grocery shelves in 2019 followed shortly after by OGGS® Aquafaba – the world’s first patented liquid plant-based egg substitute.
For more information on OGGS® visit www.loveoggs.com