cognac bartender contest uk mattia cavola winner

London bartender Mattia Cavola winner of the Cognac Bartender Contest UK

Together with the Cognac Appellation, Spirits Hunters is happy to reveal the winner of the Cognac Bartender Contest UK edition: congratulations to Mattia Cavola.

Through a partnership with the Appellation Cognac, after the Cognac Bartender Contest in France, we have organized the Cognac Bartender Contest UK so as to highlight talents in such a rough time for bar professionals of the United Kingdom. The Cognac Bartender Contest UK has rewarded Mattia Cavola (@mattia.c_), bartender at Cahoots Bar in London, as the Big Winner of the contest for his cocktail “Shotgun” (Twist on a Sidecar).

For the final of the Cognac Bartender Contest UK, the Cognac Appellation and Spirits Hunter counted on the expertise and broad knowledge of experts, bartenders, journalists and cognac educators:

  • Adam Robinson (United States) Bartender and managing partner at Dead Shot & Ping, Portland;
  • David Boileau (France) Cognac Ambassadeur, Expert;
  • Yasutaka Nakamori (Japan), Cognac specialist, Bartender, Author – Owner of Bar Doras in Tokyo;
  • Harp Mann (United Kingdom) Drink Content Innovator, Inventor, Reviewer, Presenter;
  • Felipe Schrieberg (United Kingdom) author/expert;
  • Flavien Desoblin (France/United States) Founder Copper & Oak Bar New York;
  • Emile Smits (Netherlands) Auction Expert at Catawiki;
  • Yoann Demeersseman (France) Consultant, journalist, bartender.

(Learn more about the jury of the Cognac Bartender Contest UK here)

The 24 year old bartender from Italy, based in London since four years now, also won the second week of the competition with his cocktail Shotgun, which qualified for the finals. As a winner of the competition, Mattia Cavola will notably be invited to Cognac by the interprofession and will earn a £800 endowment on behalf of Spirits Hunters.


– Where did you get the inspiration for your cocktail?

I got the inspiration from the French cuisine for the pairing between peach and tarragon. Then I chose the wine as the base of my cordial due to the common link with cognac: grapes. The drink’s name is a word pun with the sidecar cocktail, which is also the cocktail that I chose to twist.

Shotgun Cocktail – Copyright Alessia Chiarelli

Shotgun Cocktail – Copyright Alessia Chiarelli


– Why did you decide to participate in the Cognac Bartender Contest UK?

I decided to participate in this contest wondering to challenge myself with a spirit like cognac, which is not one of my first choice when I think about creating something, but at the same time it is one of the spirit that intrigue me the most.

Thank you very much Spirit Hunters and the BNIC Cognac for this special honor. I’m grateful to you for choosing “Shotgun” as the winner of your contest. It has been a pleasure for me to work and challenge myself on a recipe with Cognac. I’m happy that you appreciated my creation and also to have the opportunity to learn more about this complex spirit in Cognac. Thank you so much.


Watch the Shotgun Cocktail Tutorial by Mattia Cavola below

The Shotgun Cocktail (Twist on a Sidecar)

The drink is based on a sidecar structure with our Cognac as a soul of it, a home-made cordial instead of the liquor and the lemon juice. The cordial is inspired from French Cuisine recipes and made out of:

– sauvignon blanc

– yellow peach

– tarragon

– lemon peel

– orange peel

– caster sugar

– citric acid

– malic acid

– salt

Shotgun Cocktail – Copyright Alessia Chiarelli

Everything closed in a vacuum bag and cooked with sous vide, then strained with a coffee filter. So, the drink is composed of:

– Cognac (VSOP) 45ml

– Cordial 30ml

– Lemon juice 10ml

Stir and strain over chunks, in a speakeasy wine glass. Garnished with peach blossom.


About the Cognac Bartender Contest UK

The Cognac Bartender Contest UK has been created for all bartenders in the UK who want to share with us via Instagram their tutorial video on how to create cognac-based cocktails. Our goal is to help the bartender community to stay active and support them during the Covid-19 situation.

Congratulations again to Mattia Cavola, and to all the bartenders of the Cognac Bartender Contest UK for their effort and devotion. We had the chance to watch videos that were well produced and very professional. But above all, cocktails that knew how to highlight Cognac and its aromatic richness.

Finally, we thank the Cognac professionals that made this initiative possible.

You can watch the winners of weeks 1-6 in the videos below. And find out more about the Cognac Bartender Contest UK through Instagram with the hashtag #cognacbartendercontestuk #cognacbartendercontest


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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