A bartender from Edinburgh has won herself a trip to New Orleans courtesy of Southern Comfort.

Nicole Sykes, of the Voyage of Buck, won the Southern Showdown national cocktail making competition in London this week – mixing her way to victory past 150 other entrants.

Her winning cocktail, Off the Cuff, is described as a twist on Vieux Carré, which was created in New Orelans in 1938.

Nicole said: "My cocktail is inspired by the French Quarter nightlife and the laid-back lifestyle in the city, and the name, Off the Cuff, comes from the original name of Southern Comfort, Cuffs and Buttons. I haven't been to New Orleans before, so I'm very excited."




The event was held on board the Dixie Queen paddle steamer on the Thames. Southern Comfort used the occasion to officially launch its new 50 per cent ABV expression, 100 Proof.

Six other finalists will also be heading to New Orleans with Nicole.

Amanda McLeod, marketing director of Hi-Spirits added: "It is great to see the bartending community come together and celebrate Southern Comfort being taken back to its roots. The standard of entries to our cocktail competition this year was outstanding and we know the judges had a tough job picking the winners."