His creation ‘El Vielo’ (The Old One), came out just ahead of ‘Somewhere in Sitges’ by Patrick Thomas of Harry’s on the Green in Dublin in this mixology style competition.
Twenty six of Ireland’s top mixologists from around the country competed to win the VIP trip to the Bacardi Museum in Sitges near Barcelona and only one rule had to be observed: the cocktail had to be based on Bacardi.
Competitors came up with some truly amazing recipes and preparation styles which included the use of wasabi (a mouth-incendiarising Japanese horseradish) and Bacardi mixed in a cocktail and served with sushi and sake on the side. Some used smoke guns to add an aroma of burnt wood to their drinks while others used homemade ingredients in their secret recipes, recipes which they were reluctant to reveal to the judges…
The cocktails were judged (by BAI President Declan Byrne, Bacardi Brand Ambassador Paul Lambert and Alan Kavanagh, Portfolio Brands Ambassador for Edward Dillon & Co) on taste, aroma, balance of flavours and chosen preparation and presentation style with possible points distributed equally between bartender and cocktail (50 per cent each). All three judges are former Bacardi Martini Grand Prix Champions.
On the same platform, the BAI’s National Flair competition was won by Bogdan Bilibau of Madonna’s Nightclub in Dublin’ Temple Bar.
‘Bodo’ to his friends, his impressive display of flairtending produced a great-tasting cocktail just outpacing Chris Hennessy (three times National Flair Champion) of Biddy Early’s in Kilkenny and Jorge Luis Meirelles de Oliveira of The Baggot Inn in Dublin.
Competitors were judged on their performance, flair routine and their level of difficulty, audience interaction and execution of moves. Their cocktails were judged on appearance, aroma, taste, balance and cocktail name.
Flair Bartending is the practice of bartenders entertaining guests, clientele or audiences with the manipulation of shakers and bottles in tricky, dazzling ways. Used frequently in bars around the world, the action requires skills commonly associated with jugglers. It has become a sought-after talent among venue owners and marketers to help advertise a product or the opening of a bar establishment. ‘Flair’ was made famous by Tom Cruise in the film ‘Cocktail’.
The BAI organised this competition to find Ireland’s representative for the World Flair Finals in Beijing, to be held as part of the five-day annual congress of the International Bartenders Association, from 7th -12th October in the Crowne Plaza Hotel there.
After the competition, BAI President Declan Byrne said, “As bartenders, we are at the frontline meeting and greeting tourists and realise that we have a role to play to assist our tourism economy. The BAI will have a team of eight travelling to Beijing to attend the International Bartenders Association Congress. We hope to do Ireland proud in competitions but mostly we hope to extend a ‘Cead Mile Failte’ to the many delegates that we will meet from around the world while in China. I would like to wish our newest champion Bodo the very best of luck and I know he will do us proud”.