UK Finals on the London Eye
I love a good cocktail competition and the Angostura Aromatic Bitters Global Cocktail Challenge is always a show case for the very best bartenders. I was pleased to be asked to be a judge last year
and pleased as punch to be asked again this year too. Twelve lovely cocktails produced by some of the best bartenders in the UK – what’s not to enjoy?
Last year’s finals may have been in the conventional setting of The Ivy, but this year the event organisers stepped out of their comfort zone and held the finals on The London Eye, setting themselves a logistical challenge: namely get everyone in, set up, allow the six finalists the chance to present each of their two cocktails, break down the set and leave… All in just three full rotations… No chance of a bit more time here or there. Pleased to say that the team pulled it off just fine and despite feeling a little cramped at times, it turned out to be another great show although I didn’t get much of a chance to act the tourist and do some sightseeing.
I’m frequently amazed by the levels of creativity that bartender’s exhibit when they compete in such competitions, the serves and background stories were varied and on the whole very good. Máté Csatlós won the finals with an assured performance and two great cocktails (details of which are to follow) although I feel Ian Sanderson may well have run him pretty close as he was equally excellent. Máté will now be representing the UK at the Global Finals in Trinidad next February (2014).
The full list of finalists were:
The rules for competition require each competitor to produce both a rum and freestyle (i.e. any combination of spirits), the main requirement though is a minimum of 5 dashes of Angostura Bitters.
The winning cocktails by Máté Csatlós
Garnish with orange peel and 70% dark chocolate.
25ml Yuzu & Lemon Juice – Yuzu juice is likely to be available from the better stocked supermarkets, health food stores and (of course) Japanese/Asian grocery stores.
10ml Grade B Maple Syrup – see your supermarket for this.
Shake with ice and strain into a coupette.
Ian Sanderson’s Runner-Up Cocktails
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
A single egg white
Dry shake all the ingredients to produce a foam, then gently shake with ice and serve in a cocktail glass.