Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Angostura Global Cocktail Competition 2014 Highlights

Angostura Global Cocktail Competition 2014
The memories remain fresh in my mind after witnessing one of finest, if not the ultimate, rum cocktail competition known. Just over a week ago, 11 finalists, each representing the finest in their craft, from around the world, descended upon Trinidad. Their purpose? To compete in the highly acclaimed Angostura Global Cocktail Competition for $10,000 USD and a two year contract as Angostura's Global Brand Ambassador. Their showmanship and cocktail mastery may be best captured in their cocktail's aromas and flavors while experiencing the show from behind the bar. While this is not always possible, a series of photos highlighting the play-by-play action offers a teaser to and recap of the amount of awesome that went down, quite literally at Aria. Let's take a look!

First up is James 'Sugarfoot' Goggin of New Zealand!

Not an easy position being first, but this was an impressive start for sure. 

Left to Right: Down the Islands (Rum) & Elementary (Freestyle) 

Each competitor had to present two original cocktails containing Angostura Bitters. One cocktail may include a base spirit of choice (Freestyle) while the second required use of an Angostura Rum (Rum). Additionally, two of each cocktail had to be prepared for submission to the panel of judges within seven minutes! 

 Next up, Rohan Hackshaw of Barbados!

How about that beautiful zest?!

Passionate Thyme (Freestyle)

Third in line, was Mike Tomasic of Australia!

Muscatel clusters & tobacco leaves oh my!

Olympia (Freestyle)

Big Bird (Rum)

How about a look at the Judges!

Left to Right: Daniyel Jones, Ian Burrell, Julie Reiner, Philip Duff & Carol Homer-Caesar

Next up, Nazar Makarov of Russia!

A brilliant performance set to music with flair bartending and more...

Rum Story (Rum)
...like ristretto coffee, marchpan syrup and 100% cocoa. Yum!

Tiramisu (Freestyle)

5th in line and representing the USA was Yani M Frye!

He actually made four different cocktails representing sequential stages of attraction between two people; shaking four all at once! Oh, and this was under the seven minute limit!!

The Morning After, The Room Key, Lasting Impression (Freestyle) & A Kiss Goodbye (Rum)

Getting thirsty yet?

Next up, Barbaro Giraldes Portieles of Cuba!

Don Portieles (Freestyle) & Trinidad Farandula (Rum)

Admittedly, I was not able to taste all of them, but I did happen to taste a few in between some amazing appetizers compliments of Aria. Delicious!

Next up was Panagiotis Giovanis of Greece!

Fire it up!

Left to Right: Safe House (Rum) & Scarlet Ibis (Freestyle)

Next up, Shane Mulvany of Canada!

Elegant presentation with a butterfly garnish...

Kiss of the Butterfly (Rum)

Mate Csaltos of the UK!

Artistic style and charisma!

Beautiful Year (Rum)

Next up, Denzel Heath of South Africa!

Wolverine? Perhaps, and a finely dressed one I will add.

Ribe's Cobbler (Rum)

 It is amazing listening to the stories behind the ingredients used, let alone the attention to detail that goes into executing the elements of each cocktail. What a show!

Last up, Kester Blake of Trinidad and Tobago!

This guy can shake it!

Calypso Rose (Freestyle)

The judges carefully deliberated and winners were announced. The professionalism and comradeship of the competitors were admirable. 

And the winners are....

Left to Right: Mate Csaltos, Michael Tomasic and Nazar Makarov

Grand Prize: Michael Tomasic - Freestyle Cocktail "Olympia" winner
2nd Place: Nazar Makarov - Rum Cocktail  "Rum Story" winner
3rd Place: Mate Csaltos

Congratulations to all the winners!!!
Angostura CEO Mr. Robert Wong & Grand Prize Winner Michael Tomasic


All 11 Finalists and the lovely Giselle Laronde-West



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