The CBA's Bar Innovator of the Year award (sponsored by Paragon) took in some of the leading lights of the UK bar industry. Edinburgh's Iain McPherson won out. 

Iain McPherson is one of those people who not only has wild ideas, he also has follow-through – he’s always up to something.

After a pandemic spent devising ever-more ingenious alternative revenue streams for his bar businesses – ultimately keeping him and his staff in work – he is now on the verge of launching a scotch whisky brand under his Nauticus bar’s banner, and has dug ever deeper into all things frozen.

Panda & Sons’ latest menu, Transcend, builds on McPherson’s Señor Scoop liquor ice cream brand at Hoot the Redeemer (and two qualifications in ice cream), and showcases how freezing is an under-developed area in cocktail making.

Featuring four sub-zero methods, his most recent technique is Sous Pression, which sees him capture the force generated during the freezing process to augment flavours.

It’s all very technical – better to just head down to Panda & Sons to try the cocktails in the flesh.

Finalists: Monica Berg and Alex Kratena, Tayēr + Elementary, London; Tommy Matthews, Passing Fancies, Birmingham; Joe and Daniel Schofield, Schofield’s Bar, Manchester