A SOUTHAMPTON bartender has scooped an award for making a great cocktail.

Varenka ‘Vee’ Guillermoprieto, from The Social in Southampton, was crowned Evolution of Tonic winner at the Double Dutch cocktail competition.

The challenge for the eight finalists at the Radio Rooftop bar at the ME Hotel, London was to create a cocktail that demonstrated The Evolution of Tonic using a minimum of 100ml of any of Double Dutch’s nine mixers.

Vee’s ‘Double Nymph’ cocktail created a homemade rosebud and chamomile gin, italicus and butterfly pea flower tea mixed with Double Dutch pomegranate and basil, served in a scientific dual neck bottle.

Vee said: "I’m so overjoyed to have won this award and proud to represent The Social.

"The co-founders of Double Dutch are a real inspiration as they are changing the way we think about mixers.

"There was definitely some tough competition as there were so many talented candidates from across the UK, but it was great to meet everyone and see such creativity in my industry.

"It has inspired me to keep on pushing myself and continue doing what I love."

Co-founder of Double Dutch, Raissa de Haas said: "It’s great to see such a pool of talent in the UK when it comes to mixology and we are committed to supporting the industry.

"We tasted some visionary serves, and it was a delight to see our tonics used in such creative and innovative flavour pairings.

"We look forward to next year’s competition and seeing the continued evolution of tonic."

The judging panel included Raissa and Joyce de Haas, co-founders of Double Dutch, Financial Times columnist, Alice Lascelles, and Bar Chick founder, Hannah Grace-Lodge.

They were tasked with judging the eight cocktails not only on taste, technical skills and presentation, but the story behind the drink.

Vee was awarded first prize of a trip for two to Amsterdam including travel and 4-star accommodation.

Other stand-out competitors included runner-up Paul Minea from The Leafy Elephant, Wokingham, who used sea salt and lavender bubbles to flavour his gin and Double Dutch tonic cocktail, serving it in a foaming floral bathtub.

The Social, a bar in Southampton, is located on Lower Banister Street.