We are thrilled to announce the second edition of our X MUSES Bartending Competition.

The contest will see 10 muses of the bartending industry nominate 10 extraordinarily talented bartenders to compete head-to-head in a competition to create two bespoke cocktails - one drawing inspiration from the art world and the other, their version of a perfect vodka martini. The competition is designed to showcase their skill and creativity as they compete for the title of the Xth Muse.

X MUSE Art of Bartending Launch at The Red Room: Head Bartender Francesco Lanfranchini

The launch event, which was held in the sumptuous, art-inspired surroundings of The Red Room in London’s Connaught Hotel, was a formal introduction between our 10 Muses and their nominated bartenders. The evening featured cocktails and food pairings by former “World’s Best Bar Tender”, Ago Perrone, and his team, and guests enjoyed a mix of visual theatre, and innovative and expressive cocktails from X MUSE Bartending Winner, 2023, Ali Polyakov, and global mixologist and cocktail expert, Jean-Vital Castellani. Set among exquisite artworks by famous conceptual artists, such as Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer, the event was a culturally rich and unforgettable launch moment for our X MUSES Bartending Competition.

Following this year’s launch event, regional heats will challenge our competitors to create two bespoke cocktails using at least 30ml of X MUSE vodka – one drawing inspiration from the art world and the other, their version of a perfect vodka martini. For the first round of art-themed cocktails, nominees will be asked to create a mixed drink inspired by their favourite contemporary artwork or artist. These events will be held in both London and Edinburgh in early April and May respectively, with London’s exclusive destination bar, Silverleaf, hosting the London heats, and the W Hotel hosting in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Jupiter Artland Sculpture Park, the spiritual home and birthplace of X MUSE Vodka, will host the final round of competition. Finalists will be invited to stay on-site at the Artist’s House where they will be treated to inspiring talks and influencers, such as Cocktail Lovers Director, Gary Sharpen, who will share his wisdom on cocktail making trends and X MUSE co-founder Vadim Grigoryan in conversation with contemporary artist Anya Gallaccio on the idea of cocktails as artistic mediums. It is here that each contender will also be asked to create two bespoke vodka cocktails: one inspired by an artwork at Jupiter Artland and the other, the ultimate X MUSE Martini.

Our judging panel will include X MUSE founders Robert Wilson and Vadim Grigoryan, and renowned artist, Anya Gallaccio, whose Amethyst Grotto as Jupiter Artland was a direct inspiration for X MUSE. Contestants will be asked to create two serves, the perfect Martini and an Artistic Cocktail. For the latter, judges will be looking for a bartender who can work expressively and imaginatively with no limits on what they can create – with the exception that the cocktail must be art-inspired and must contain X MUSE Vodka. Cocktails will be judged out of 100 points based on taste, aroma, visual appeal, drink name, story, and concept.

X MUSE Art of Bartending Competition 2023: Jupiter Artland

X MUSE will invite the winner (and the winner’s guest) to Paris+ par Art Basel. Our winning Muse will also be treated to a private tour of the fair with X MUSE’s Co-Founder and Director Vadim Grigoryan, access to the VIP lounge and surrounding VIP art events, a dinner at Château Voltaire with Vadim. X MUSE’s very own bartending ambassador will be taking the winner on a tour of the best Parisian bars, from the new, the old, and the hidden gems of the city. They will also be invited to the arts programs and festivals that X Muse supports, such as the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, the 40th edition of the Edinburgh Arts Festival and London’s renowned art festival, Frieze.

We are truly excited to see what our talented muses will create and look forward to a night of art, cocktails, and creativity at X MUSE's cocktail competition.

We invite you to follow the journey on Instagram @tenthmusevodka to see what our talented mixologists will create!