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Martin Miller’s Gin International Cocktail Competition

Martin Miller's gin Lisandro with The Last Shaman Cocktail


Martin Miller's gin Marcus with The River Martini (my favorite)


Martin Miller's gin Allen- Taiwan The Scented Sling cocktail

Gin drinks created by bartenders from all over the world? Yes please. When I was asked to judge the finalists in the Martin Miller’s gin international cocktail competition and come to Iceland, my answer a resounding, “You bet!”

Martin Miller’s gin sent out a call to bartenders and mixologists from all over the world to submit a video and a recipe of their best gin cocktail recipe.They were all challenged to present a beverage that was inspired by where they lived. In addition, they were asked to conceive a creative presentation in the most imaginative and theatrical way possible. Needless to say, the finalists blew us away.
Hundreds of entries were received, so weeding it down to the final four was no small task.

Martin Miller's gin

Here are the 4 finalists that made the cut :

Lisandro Rodriguez Araoz from Argentina – The Last Shaman

Lisandro’s  cocktail, the Last Shaman, draws from the inspiration of the spirit world. Sourcing herbs from the mountains of his native Cordoba, Lisandro created an elixir with a nod to the union of man and nature.

Allen Cheng from Taiwan – The Scented Sling

His cocktail embodied the noble traditions of eastern tea cultivation. It was a scientific and precise concoction perfectly measured and gently brewed over flames. Allen’s cocktail perfectly captured the fragrances of of Taipei (a big surprise is that he proposed to his girlfriend on the trip which was very sweet).

See Allen’s video here:

Marcus Muller from Germany – The River Martini

Marcus brilliantly filmed his cocktail while floating down the river. It is a sweet video and like his cocktail, loveable and clever. Using local elderberry, which grows every where near his home, and the local ice wine, his lemon verbena and a fragrant garnish made this one my favorite contender. I love this video because it has a very comical feel about it, but without intention. Marcus is a sweet soul and a great bartender.

See Marcus’ video here:

Gorge Camorra from Australia- The Outback Negroni

Gorge took a new approach to a classic Negroni by infusing herbal flavors of his homeland including eucalyptus leaves as a garnish. His video garnished the most laughs and was based on a cult horror classic film “Wolf Creek.” Gorge brought lots of fun and personality to the competition, and his demo was by far the most amusing; the cocktail was not bad either.

See Gorge’s video here:

Note: there were 2 more finalists one from Scotland, Alex, and Megan from London. They did not have a video to present, but their cocktails (Alex’s herb scented martini and Megan’s creative lemon mixer) were really fabulous. I would drink Alex’s martini anytime.

Megan showing us the recipe for her gin mixer Martin Miller's gin



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Alex demoing his deliciously fresh Martin’s stroll through the garden martini

In the end, Marcus’ River Martini was judged the overall winner. But honestly, everyone did an amazing job. All winners in my book; I would happily order any of these cocktails of course with Martin Millers gin.

Big thanks to all the bartenders. They were such fun and interesting people, and many thanks to Martin Miller’s gin for taking me along with you.


This post is sponsored by Martin Miller’s Gin all opinions are my own.

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Iceland with Martin Miller’s Gin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Imagine my excitement when I was invited to join a trip with Martin Miller’s gin to Iceland.

A week ago, I boarded a plane and landed in Iceland, with camera in hand. I joined a group of very talented people from all over the world like me; there to learn about the very thoughtful and technical process of making this delicious gin, and to judge a cocktail competition sponsored by Martin Miller’s (more on that later).

Why Iceland? Besides the herbs and botanicals infused into Martin Millers gin, the live Icelandic spring water is one of the key ingredients. I was more than interested in the process, and I soon learned live Icelandic spring water adds to the flavor and the clarity on the palette.

We all piled into a convoy of Rover Defenders and headed out into the rugged moonscape that is the countryside of Iceland to the Martin Miller’s Gin bottling plant. We arrived at a metal clad building that housed the bottling facility.

Inside, we witnessed the bottling process, and of course we did a taste test with Martin Miller’s gin and compared its flavor to another name brand gin. It was 10:00 am; my kind of morning.


Botanicals play a key role in the flavor of this soft gin. So much goes into making the final product perfect. Of course the live Icelandic spring water, Tuscan, Macedonian, and Indian Juniper, Chinese Cassia Bark, French Angelica, oranges from Seville, Spain, Florentine Iris, coriander, lime peel, lemon peel, and liquorice root…no wonder it’s so delicious!

The true fact is that I love gin; the spicy fresh flavors awaken the palette. Gin is perfect for aperitvo, and my choice in a classic martini. And of course, there is nothing like a stellar G&T (gin and tonic).

Martin Miller's gin Martin Miller's gin

Martin Miller's gin On this trip I met many interesting people, but no one was more interesting and knowledgeable than the owners that were kind enough to talk about their process, and philosophy behind Martin Miller’s Gin. P.S. a new twist from Martin Millers gin is to age the gin in barrels. Right now in the experimentation stages, they are trying many different barrels to gauge taste and smokey notes and color.

Martin Miller's gin

After our tour of the bottling facility, we went straight to the water source: a waterfall about 30 minutes from the bottling plant. Iceland is all about the purest water, and water is one of their big natural resources. I must say it’s delicious.

Iceland is a special place, and honestly it was not on my bucket list. But I was so happy to have this opportunity to visit. Full disclosure: I think I may have been wrong, and it should have been on my bucket list.

Stay tuned for another Iceland post where I had the amazing opportunity to be a judge in an international cocktail competition sponsored by Martin Miller’s gin.


cheers xx

This post is sponsored by Martin Miller’s Gin all opinions are my own.




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