Local bartender takes creative cocktail to Scotland

Ben Golden

Ben Golden

A local man mixed the perfect cocktail and won a trip to Scotland.

The backstory about Ben Golden, a bartender/mixologist at Bellwether, is that he entered a global competition run by Glenfiddich, the Scotch whisky producer, to be named the World’s Most Experimental Bartender.

The competition, now in its fourth year, challenges bartenders to create a new way of serving Glenfiddich whisky.

Golden, 30, created a cocktail he named “Black Chypre” (from Black Sheep, the restaurant group of which Bellwether is part of, and from the name of a family of perfumes with citrus and earthy notes). He experimented with it for a month at Black Sheep, then entered “Black Chypre” into the competition. His recipe was selected for the Southeast regional competition in Miami against six others from Florida. There he won a spot to join 10 other bartenders from around the country to represent the United States in the semi-finals in Scotland this past April.

The Murray Hill resident said his “very involved” cocktail includes a Whisky Smash he created from a variety of ingredients including Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14-Year-Old Single Malt, which is strained into a glass smoked with vetiver root, topped with a bergamot foam, then spritzed with jasmine. Admitting to a fascination with classic French perfumes, Golden said he felt the aromatics in his concoction would elevate the cocktail.

“Mixology was a hobby of mine for a long time, then I felt the best way to get further along was to bartend,” he said, having joined the Black Sheep Restaurant Group two years ago.

Although a female bartender from Chicago will represent the United States in the finals  in Scotland later this year, Golden said he enjoyed the five days at the semi-finals, then was joined by his wife, Jacinda, for another four days in Scotland.

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