Bartender from Cardiff, has won a prestigious cocktail competition organised by Dunnet Bay Distillers, creators of Rock Rose Gin.


Max J Hayward, Bartender at Lab 22 Bar in Cardiff won the Judges’ Choice prize with his cocktail, The North Coast Southside, a nod to the gin which is made in the UK mainland’s most northerly distillery, on the coast of Scotland.

His recipe was chosen by the Judging Panel from a shortlist of 5 extraordinary entries to a national contest. The competition marked International Scottish Gin Day® (ISGD) held earlier this month.

He wins a case of Rock Rose Gin for himself and one for the bar where he shakes and stirs his amazing concoctions.

The North Coast Southside by Max J Hayward of Lab 22, Cardiff

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The distinguished professional judging panel who whittled down the entries to the final shortlist was composed of:  Gillian McKenzie and Dave Hunter, respectively Editor and Deputy Editor at the leading Scottish journal for the on-trade, Scottish Licensed Trade News; the co-founders of The Gin Cooperative, masterminds behind ISGD, Natalie Reid and Martin Reid; the owners of Dunnet Bay Distillers, creators of Rock Rose Gin, Claire and Martin Murray; Rock Rose Gin’s Brand Ambassador, John Bagnall; and Sonia Elia, Brand Ambassador at Global Brands.

Claire Murray, Chairman of the Judges and instigator of the Rock Rose Cocktail Competition said: “We congratulate Max and those who were shortlisted along with all the entrants. It was a very difficult choice. We were overwhelmed by the quality of the fabulous entries and are proud that Rock Rose Gin inspired professionals in this way.”

There was also a Consumers’ Choice winner, Ross Lawrie from Orchid in Aberdeen.



Pictured: Max Hayward and his friend Freddie celebrate his success at Lab 22 A person and a dog sitting at a tableDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Max Hayward, Bartender at Lab 22 said: “I am over the moon about winning this competition as the Judges’ Choice winner. I feel very humbled to win a national competition. I really like the Rock Rose brand and what it stands for in terms of sustainability. In the course of my work at the bar I adopt a closed loop policy to ingredients – I really don’t like wastefulness, so if I can make something new from what would normally be thrown away, it’s a huge bonus. I am keen on foraging too: right now, up in the valleys, there is a lot of wild mint. So I feel very in touch with what Rock Rose Gin does in terms of  its sustainable approach.

“I must add that I know Ross Lawrie, the Consumers’ Choice winner in this competition and am also thrilled for him. He’s a lovely guy and so good at what he does so I congratulate him, also.”

Rock Rose Gin and its sister spirit, Holy Grass Vodka, are made in the UK mainland’s most northerly distillery. Dunnet Bay Distillers is a highly sustainable business, growing several of its botanicals and using locally foraged botanicals in its products. The company generates its own electricity, carefully manages water usage, pays close attention to sustainable packaging, and even has a dedicated Environment Manager.

To buy Rock Rose Gin visit As well as Original Edition, the company releases seasonal editions and other fine, award-winning gins.