The WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Finals is currently underway in Cape Town, bringing the world’s top Bartenders and Mixologist professionals to our city. It is the largest and most prestigious global Mixology event.
The largest number of female Bartender Finalists is competing for the title of the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition, six of the 55 finalists from fifty countries being women, and having won the national best bartender title in their respective countries. The female finalists are Anna Walsh from Dublin, Ireland; Fernanda Tejada of Mexico City; Tess Posthumus from the Netherlands (left); Jasmin Rutter, winner of the title of WORLD CLASS Yachting Bartender of the Year; Olivia Hairay from Geneva but now works in the UK; and Lauren Mote from Canada.
South Africa Finalist Domenico De Lorenzo (right) is one of the 55 Finalists for Best Global Bartender. He is one of 6000 bartenders from around the world that competed for the title locally initially, then nationally, and now is in the running for the global title. De Lorenzo works for Molecular Bars in Johannesburg, offering a mobile drinks service. His winning national cocktails were named ‘Curious Case of the Malted Man‘ and ‘Lady in Red‘.
Jetting into Cape Town are the competition judges Salvatore Calabrese from the UK; Peter Dorelli formerly from London’s Savoy Hotel; American alcoholic beverage expert Steve Allison; Julie Reiner, owner of leading cocktail bars in New York; Spike Marchant, Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Global Ambassador; Dale DeGroff (left), known as Mr Cocktail in the USA; publisher Gaz Regan; and Hidetsugu Ueno, owner of a bar in Tokyo.
As part of the competition, starting today and running until Friday, a number of cocktail trends will be demonstrating in the cocktails mixed by the bartenders from around the world.
Cocktail trends include:
* An increasing number of fruits and vegetables (such as beetroot, carrots, fennel, snowpeas), largely organic, add extra flavor to their concoctions. Similar to chefs, bartenders have a special selection of produce suppliers, not just local but international ones too. Once the preserve of chefs only, bartenders are foraging ingredients too, creating ‘garden to glass‘ cocktails! Cocktail aficionados want to know where the cocktail ingredients are sourced from.
* Bitters are increasingly added into the cocktail mix, to balance the sweetness of fruit juices and cordials. They are made from alcohol infused with aromatic plant extracts. Hundreds of Bitters flavors are available to Bartenders.
* Increasingly, diners are drinking an aperitif before dinner to open up the taste buds, and a digestif after dinner. Increasingly food and cocktail pairings are offered.
* Freshly-picked, home-grown, organic herbs are increasingly used in cocktails. In addition to the standard mint and basil, bartenders are now adding coriander, dill, and parsley into their cocktails. Similarly, flavored fruit and herbal teas are being added to cocktails. Teas are particularly used in countries when fresh produce is not available in the winter months. Alternatively fresh summer fruit is dried and stored for use in winter.
A World Class House has been created in the Roodebloem Studios in Woodstock, with pop-up cocktail bars, offering locals the opportunity to meet the Bartender Finalists, and to taste their cocktails during the course of this week. Tickets cost R180 and can be booked on www.theworldclasshouse.com. Diageo represents the following beverage brands: Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray, and Guinness.
Cape Town is in the Cocktail limelight this week, with visiting media representatives from around the world showcasing our city, and the creative cocktails from around the world which will be judged this week. All Bartenders will be vying for the prestigious WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2015 competition, likened to the Michelin star evaluation of restaurants.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Tel (021) 433-2100, Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here