Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge European finals in Stockholm

There have been lots of cocktail competitions in Stockholm lately, and about a week ago there was another one - the European finals of Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge - at Hotellet. Twelve bartenders from around Europe (with Andrea Patelli from Little Quarter representing Sweden) had prepared two cocktails each, one Angostura rum drink and one "freestyle" drink, both with a minimum of 5 dashes Angostura Bitters and the rest of the ingredients easy to find or make anywhere in the world. The contestants had 7 minutes each to present both cocktails in front of the jury - Gary Sharpen (The Cocktail Lovers), Daniyel Jones (Global Angostura brand ambassador and last year's winner), Jamie Stephenson (UK Angostura brand ambassador) and myself (!) - who judged the overall presentation as well as the appearance, aroma and taste of the drinks.

Panos Giovanis finishing his cocktail presentation in style
Photo by Thommy Gyllenbielke
After almost three hours of Angostura rum and bitters, foams, infusions, fire and even some flair bartending, the jury was ready to present the three outstanding bartenders of the afternoon:

3. Darren Geraghty, Ireland
2. Mirko Turconi, Italy
1. Panos Giovanis, Greece

Panos qualified for the global finals at House of Angostura in Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 2, 2014 where he will have the chance to win $10,000 and become an Angostura brand ambassador - good luck!

I guess you're dying to find out what was in Panos' winning cocktails, so without further due - here we go!

Scarlet Ibis, photo by Thommy Gyllenbielke
Scarlet Ibis (freestyle cocktail)
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
45 ml Angostura 7YO rum
10 ml walnut liqueur
10 ml Monin Creme de Peche liqueur
20 ml fresh lime juice
15 ml spice syrup

Method: Shake
Glasswear: Vintage Martini Glass
Garnish: Vanilla Stick

Walnut Liqueur
2 l Metaxa *****
2 kg Sugar
10 fresh walnuts (cut in quarters)
2 cinnamon sticks
8 cloves

Place all ingredients in a large air tight jar for 40 days and swirl around once a day.

Spice syrup
300 ml Water
300 gr Sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 pc nutmeg
2 pc allspice

Smash up the cinnamon stick, nutmeg and allspice, add all ingredients to a pot and boil the syrup. Let it cool.

Safe House, photo by Thommy Gyllenbielke
Safe House (rum cocktail)
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
50 ml Angostura 1919 rum
20 ml Remy Martin VSOP cognac
5 ml Green Chartreuse
10 ml Homemade Vanilla-Nutmeg Syrup
Spray Ledaig Scotch whisky

Method: Stirred
Glassware: Vintage Old Fashioned
Garnish: Bitter Chocolate sticks

Vanilla Nutmeg syrup
300 ml Water
300 g Sugar
2 sticks Madagascar Vanilla
1 pc nutmeg

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