Edinburgh mixologist makes final of world cocktail contest

Leon's Queen Street cocktail is a winner
Leon's Queen Street cocktail is a winner
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A COCKTAIL guru from a Capital bar has become a finalist in a top international competition – with a drink he has created named after one of city’s best known streets.

Leon Back, who works at Panda & Sons, has been named as the UK winner of a celebrated rum competition, the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition

Twenty eight participants from ten countries took part in the Northern European finals for a place in the grand finals in Mexico – and Leon has now secured his place.

His winning drink is named The Queen Street, which uses a combination of flavours including Bacardi, whisky and lemon.

Leon said: “I can’t believe that I’ve been named UK winner out of all of the amazing bartenders. The competition in Mexico City will be a seriously tough, but I’m ready for the challenge and I’m extremely proud to be representing the UK and the city of Edinburgh.”

A Bacardi spokesman said: “Every year we takes this opportunity to seek out cocktails that stand a chance of becoming genuine classics, like the legendary Daiquiri or Mojito.

“A bartender is selected from each of participating country to go to the world finals in Mexico, to be held in the spring.

“So far the participants in these national finals only competed against bartenders from their own country, but they did so in an inspiring international context, rubbing shoulders with counterparts from nine other countries as the Northern European finals took place in Amsterdam.

“Since it was created in 2008, the list of honour for this competition has done more than simply put a series of cocktails by some of the world’s best bartenders into the spotlight.

“It has also become a genuine network of talented people, all connected by a unique contest in which camaraderie always counts for more than the will to compete.”

Panda & Sons is located at 79 Queen Street