Our bartender is the best in the UK!

Wed 17th Jul

Our amazing bartender, Joseph Miller, has been voted the second-best mixologist in the world and the top in the UK!

He beat
272 mixologists from 18 countries in the #Brocktail contest organised by Brockmans Gin.

In first place came Maksim Evseev, chief bartender at the Brothers Bar and Grill in Vladivostok, Russia and third was Andrea Forni from La Gintoneria di Davide in Milan, Italy. All three finalists have won an expenses-paid trip of a lifetime as guests of Brockman's 'Gin to Tales' of the Cocktail in New Orleans, an annual magnet for the bartending profession for which Joseph is currently learning more about his trade and enjoying the sites of New Orleans.

The competition attracted a record number of nominations this year and voting was entirely by members of the public,with more than 30,000 votes in the run-up to World Gin Day 2019.

Joseph’s winning cocktail was inspired by the city’s charity shops and was called Ping’s Obsession. 

He said:  “There was no particular theme to the competition which was quite hard for me as I like to have a theme.  I got inspiration from walking around charity shops in Newcastle looking at various drinking vessels. I found a set of two ducks which seemed ideal.”

The idea was forming in Joseph’s head of a far-eastern slant to his cocktail competition entry and he also referenced a 1933 children’s book, Ping, about a little duck that gets lost in the Yangtse River.

He added: “I began to piece Asian-style elements together for the cocktail. Brockmans is an unusual gin so my idea had to be unusual.

“I kept checking the leader board online every day and I was in the final four the day before the deadline,” says Joseph. “The top three got to go to New Orleans, so I was delighted to come second. Tales of the Cocktail is a huge festival with seminars and tastings – and all pretty cool.”

Andy Hook, managing director of Blackfriars Restaurant & Parlour Bar said: “We are so proud of Joseph winning this competition – he is an amazing mixologist and is always coming up with new and creative cocktails for our guests.  The news that he’s been voted the best in the UK is a testament to his passion and hard work.  We’ll be adding his cocktail to our menu for customers to try".

Blackfriars Parlour Bar is located next to the restaurant on Friars Street and is the oldest standing bar in Newcastle, having been the original Parlour for the Dominican Friars when guests came to visit.  It now serves coffee, tea, wine, cocktails and beer from 11am-midnight.

Enjoy Ping’s Obsession or any cocktail in the Parlour Bar and take advantage of Blackfriars’ 2 for £10 offer which is available from 5-7pm Monday - Thursday. Expires 26 November 2019.

If you’d like to try Joseph's winning cocktail at home, here it is:

Joseph's Ping’s Obsession


50ml Brockmans Gin
25ml yuzu juice
20ml blackberry and sage syrup
2 dashes of saline solution 
2 dashes of Ms. Better's Bitters Miraculous Foamer 

Add all ingredients into a Boston tin and dry shake
Add ice and shake again
Dry shake for a final time
Double strain it

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote! Come along to our Parlour Bar and enjoy a cocktail made by Joseph.