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The first public event of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival got off to a tremendous start tonight as the eagerly awaited final from the Brighton Mix Off took place. It was hosted in the Palm Court Restaurant on Brighton Pier by Mixology Group's Myles Cunliffe and sponsored by Stolichnaya Vodka, Grand Marnier, Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Havana Club Rum and Brighton Pier who provided the wonderful setting. In a change to the format of the earlier heats, each of the four finalists was given their own bar area to set up, stocked with a sponsors drink from which to make two different cocktails. Guests to the event were provided with tokens with which to 'tip' the bartender they considered to have made the best drink, and the eventual winner was decided from tallying the tips. The contestants - Ehren Khoo-Steel, Dan Warren of Brown's, Mark Stokes from Above Audio, and 'Polish Pete' Piotr Mierzwa from Hotel Seattle all had distinctly different styles of both drinks and presentation. Polish Pete's fabulous ice sculptures and Grand Marnier cocktails were a huge hit, as were Ehren's bubbly party theme with fruit inspired Stolichnaya cocktails, and Mark's rum and raisin ice cream made with Havana Club Rum and dry ice. Dan's set up was simple and elegant without the razzmatazz of the other bars, but his Monkey Shoulder Whisky cocktails seemed to be crowd pleasers in their own right. It was difficult to see who was going to win amongst all the fun, but the eventual competition winner was in fact young Dan Warren, who was presented with the trophy specially created for the event by Jamie McCartney.

We were all winners at this event - such a fabulous evening which wouldn't have been possible without a lot of hard work from all the bartenders who got involved, the Mixology Group Crew, drinks sponsors, venue sponsors, and of course the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival team, a big Thank You to all of you. Looking forward to a month long party with the Festival, and can't wait for the next Mix Off!

For more information on the other great events during September's Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival go to

For more on Mixology Group fun go to

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Keywords:Brighton, Brighton & Hove Festival of Food and Drink, Brighton Bartenders Association, Brighton Mix Off, Cocktail, bartender, competition