The Giffard West Cup 2015 : Results

Early June. Angers France. 16 bartenders from 11 countries. It can only be one thing – The Giffard West Cup Final. Once a year Giffard hosts some of the worlds best and most creative bartenders as they go head to head in delivering their most imaginative cocktail made from the vast range of liqueurs produced by the this still family owned company. Since October 2014 this years finalists have been competing in regional heats starting with Singapore and finishing in the UK in May 2015.

Giffard West Cup 2015 - Angers

Giffard West Cup 2015 – Angers

The finalists all arrived in Angers on Sunday 7th June and once checked in were taken out for a special Menthe-Pastille exhibition at Angers “Musées des Beaux-Arts”. Indeed Giffard flagship product is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, a great occasion to take a look at vintage posters ads from 1900′ to 1950′. Then a Gastronomic City Tour was planned. Teams were formed and had their grey cells tested by solving riddles about the ancient town of Angers. Their reward? A belly full of local food and wine with Quernons d’ardoise and Coteaux du Layon going down particularly well. They were also shown some of the historical points relating to Giffards long history including the old pharmacy of Emile Giffard and also his first distillery. After all was seen it was off to Angers only rooftop restaurant for dinner, more wine and some checking out of the competition.

Giffard West Cup 2015

Giffard West Cup 2015

Monday 8th June. competition day. As expected the standard was high, the drinks were flowing and the atmosphere was competitively friendly. The rules were simple – create 1 drink which must include a minimum of 1cl Giffard Liqueur (either in the Premium or Classic range) and a minimum of 0.5cl Bigallet China China. This year also included a special 2nd round dedicated to Menthe-Pastille. There were 2 judging parts for each challenge: An execution part (presentation, dexterity, professionalism, technical efficiency while mixing , respect of time …) , and a tasting (cocktail appearance, aroma and taste) with final marking being the average between the 2 cocktail challenges  (each cocktail counting for 50% ).

Results :

1st Prize : Uwe Reichert from “Rule 405” – Berlin – Germany

Uwe Reichert - 1st Prize

Uwe Reichert – 1st Prize

2nd Prize : Veronica Saye from Food & Liquor – Toronto – Canada

Veronica Saye - 2nd Prize

Veronica Saye – 2nd Prize

3rd Prize : Pavlos Aslanidis from Mojo Cocktail Bar – Thessaloniki – Greece

Pavlos Aslanidis - 3rd Prize

Pavlos Aslanidis – 3rd Prize

Special Prize of the Jury for the Liqueurs Challenge : Yael Vengroff from The Spare Room – Los Angeles – USA

Yael Vengroff  -  " Liqueurs Challenge" Winner

Yael Vengroff – Winner ” Liqueurs Challenge”

Special Prize of the Jury for the Menthe-Pastille Challenge : Kino Soh from Hopscotch Bar -Singapore.

Kino Soh - "Menthe-Pastille Challenge" Winner

Kino Soh – “Menthe-Pastille Challenge” Winner

And that wrapped up a great couple of days with a fantastic group of bartenders all competing for their love of the industry. Oh and just maybe bragging rights too! No big prize or cheque waiting for them at the end, just a group hug and fond memories of time spent with their peers and the fun had in the city of Angers. A genuine pleasure to see how many bartenders are still happy to be part of our incredible industry and inspired by the people around them. You do the bartending family proud.

Santé !

Video available : Giffard West Cup 2015 Video and photos.

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Giffard enjoyed a double celebration at Bar 1806 Melbourne !

Johnny & Alex Iodice ,Arthur Piffoux , Léo Leriche, Blake Hall

Johnny & Alex Iodice, Arthur Piffoux , Léo Leriche, Blake Hall

We all know that the hospitality industry rarely needs an excuse to celebrate – ‘Oh look its Tuesday lets celebrate’….’Did you say you’ve got tomorrow off? We should celebrate immediately’….’I see you are celebrating, we should toast to that’…You get the idea! So when we let the news out that we were not just celebrating the launch of our beautiful newly designed liqueur bottle but also announcing our Melbourne Brand Ambassador, well you can imagine the party that followed.

Bar 1806 in the CBD area of Melbourne and aptly named after the year the word ‘cocktail’ was first defined in print, played host to the cities finest, who were treated to not 1 but 2 guest bartenders for the evening. First up we had Mike Cheong Jit Hao from Singapore. Mike is a Bartender at W Hotels Worldwide in Singapore, he was 2nd at the Giffard East Cup last September in Singapore and also recently won La Maison de Cointreau in Bangkok. Next up there was David Alexander Xander Stucken from Perth, where he tends the bar at Varnish on King. He’s also the new rookie of West Australia.

David Alexander Xander

David Alexander Xander Stucken

Everyone was treated to 3 of Mikes Giffard creations, one of which won him his second place in the East Cup (See below for full recipes). With these tasty libations in hand it gave plenty of opportunities to toast Giffards’ new man about Melbourne Blake Hall. Blake is a fantastic bartender who has worked at Katuk, The Woods of Windsor, and Golden Monkey. Hopefully he’ll be heading over to see you soon (if you work in Melbourne that is) so be sure to give him a celebratory high 5!!

Mike Cheong Jit Hao

Mike Cheong Jit Hao

CUP OF TEA (placed 2nd in Giffard East Cup)
30ml 42 Below Feijoa
25ml Passionfruit Puree
30ml Chrysanthemum Tea

Method: Shake & Strain
Glassware: Rock
Garnish: Cucumber Slice

30ml Giffard Triple Sec
30ml Coconut Milk
3 Slices Fresh Mango
60ml Coconut Water

Method: Muddle Mango then add all other ingredients. Shake & Strain
Glassware: Martini
Garnish: Smoke Salt

15ml Havana 7yrs Rum
15ml Giffard Amaretto
15ml Fresh Lime Juice
60ml Apple Juice

Method: Shake & Strain
Glassware: Rock
Garnish: Flamed Cinnamon Powder

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The Giffard West Cup Preselections : Bar Tour in Copenhagen

The Giffard West Cup Preselections in Europe started on Wednesday 18th March in Denmark. Organized by Giffard’s danish Liqueur Distributor Sprit & Co ( the competition took place in Copenhagen.

China-China Bigallet & Crème de Café Giffard

China-China Bigallet & Crème de Café Giffard

Nine top Bars of the city were selected to participate:

  • Oak Room with Marius Pethelis
  • Duck & Cover with Sebastian Krunderup
  • Restaurant Kul with Simon Fresco
  • Lidkoeb with Patrick Graser
  • Honey Ride Bar with Peter Møller Jensen
  • Ruby Bar with Jeppe Nothlev
  • Balderdash with Kristine Soltoft
  • 1105 with Ulrich Steffensen
  • Strøm Bar with Adam Borch

The rules were pretty simple to let the bartender’s creativity work … They had to use a minimum of 1 cl of a Giffard Liqueur ( ) and 0,5 cl of Bigallet China China Liqueur ( ), a unique bitter liqueur produced by the Bigallet company in the French Alps.

The Jury was composed of the bar Manager of each selected location – of course they couldn’t judge their own bar. Oscar Svendsen (Sprit & Co- Owner) and I ( Pauline Quigis – Giffard Operational Marketing Europe) were also members of the decision Team.

The Judge team took the bus for a pretty intense Bar Tour through all Copenhagen to taste the cocktails realized by the competitors in their own bar. A pretty original and exciting way to organize a preselection.

Bar Tour in Copenhagen

Bar Tour in Copenhagen

This busy day started at Oak Room and finished at Balderdash for the deliberation and the results announcement. The level was high and tight, which made the choice hard to make but we were all impressed by the quality of the drinks and the presentations of the candidates. We all enjoyed the nice atmosphere of the Balderdash where everybody gathered for a well deserved party !

Winner:  Sebastian Krunderup of Duck & Cover who impressed the Jury with his cocktail, Cph Spritz. He will represent Denmark for the international final in France on the 8th of June in Angers. Second place was awarded to Jeppe Nothlev from Ruby Bar while third place went to Peter Møller Jensen from Honey Ride Bar.

Sebastian Krunderup - 1st Prize

Sebastian Krunderup – 1st Prize

Pauline Quigis – Operational Marketing Europe

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The Thinking Drinkers Interview

Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland otherwise known as The Thinking Drinkers are busy people, and when we say busy we mean BUSY! From writing for top publications to touring in their own theatre show, there really aren’t many people working as hard as these 2 in trying to make the world a better place to drink in. They recently picked up the Imbibe ‘Educator of the Year’ award and Giffard managed meet up with them for a ‘very serious’ chat about the awards and what The Thinking Drinkers are all about:

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MxMo: Banana Panic with a Martini Mashup

Giffard Liqueurs & Syrups:

Some inspiration to use our Banane du Brésil Liqueur !

Originally posted on Rated R Cocktails:

So if you’ve read Rated R Cocktails before you know classic cocktails are not my bag. Sure I love a Negroni, a French 75, a Rob Roy, and a hipster juice, but Tiki is my bag. It’s only because I love my longtime Twitter and Mixoloseum buddy Dagreb from Nihil Utopia that I participate in this month’s MxMo. I do love Martini’s but this month we’re making “Not A Martini”.

Okay so confessional time, I love gin. Gin sadly does not last around here because I tend to drink it straight with a lime twist. My Alcoholism aside I also love Martini’s, but I won’t be happy without olives. To me a martini needs olives, and all the twists in the world won’t replace them, though that doesn’t mean I want you to add olive juice. Read this: If I come in to your bar and order a martini…

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Au Revoir Mexicana, G’Day Mexico!

Bildo Saravia & Mike Tomašić   &

Bildo Saravia & Mike Tomašić

Bondi Beach, Sydney. Arguably one of the coolest places on the planet, but also a place with contradictions that should not work – One of the world’s best beaches, full of beautiful people all hanging out in the sun, doing yoga, paddle boarding or surfing….mixed in with some of the scariest deadliest wildlife on the planet. Expensive real estate but still a haven for backpackers! However,  somehow everyone and everything manages to get along swimmingly most of the time (pardon the pun). Which brings us to Mr Moustache, a cocktail bar and restaurant which has somehow managed to seamlessly marry lively Mexican food and culture with the refinement of French elitism from the 1920s. Like the contradiction of yoga bunnies and sharks hanging out on the beach it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but trust us, this one really does. The decor is slick with an element of understated cool, not a Piñata or sombrero in site. The food is beautifully presented, showcasing the best of Mexico’s rich culinary history without being a pastiche of its own heritage.

So onto the drinks. The menu is a collaboration between Phil Ward from Mayahuel, New York, and Mike Tomašić so you should expect great things and you won’t be disappointed. The drinks are Mescal led, all ingredients being locally sourced wherever possible.The juices hand squeezed daily using a Mexican elbow and the garnishes are simple yet elegant.  Many of the cocktails also use key spices from the kitchen meaning there is a real synergy between the food and drinks.

Heres a couple of our favourites:


According to ‘The Urban Dictionary’ Pamplemousse is slang for little fatso in France. Not too sure how true this is but why let the truth get in the way of a good story….. or a great name for a cocktail for that matter!

Calle 23 Blanco
Giffard Crème de Pamplemousse
Angostura Orange Bitters
Fresh pink grapefruit
Fresh lime
Egg white

Little Fatso's Fizz

Little Fatso’s Fizz


A riff on the 20th Century ~ a classic cocktail from the early 1900’s consisting of Gin, White Crème de Cacao, Lillet Blanc and lemon ~ the 21st Century plays on the seamless affinity between Mezcal and chocolate in a non-cloying, refreshing kinda way.

Nuestra Soledad
Giffard White Crème de Cacao
Cocchi Americano
Fresh lemon

21st Century

21st Century


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“Inspired by the Joker and the Thief from Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower”

Alex DyzartAlex Dyzart is from Kent but he aquired his cocktail mixing skills in Auckland’s speakeasies during a two year stay in New Zealand. On returning to the UK Alex fell on his feet and joined the team at the famous Venn Street Records, where he is now assistant manager.

Alex’s first tattoo features Sailor Jerry Swallows “that are linked heavily to Sailor Jerry rum. A very popular brand with bartenders”, he explains. “My next tattoo was rather more ambitious and took three years in the planning alone. Inspired by the Joker and the Thief from Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, the design covers my entire right sleeve and it was important to get every detail correct. I’m now working on designs for my left sleeve with a phoenix as its central character. But it’s not just the design that’s time consuming, finding the tattoo artist that I want to work with is a challenge in its own right”.

In 2013 a close friend, with a passion for blue coloured drinks, passed away and that Blue Daiquiri was his favorite cocktail ever, “he drunk it all the time !” said Alex.

Blue Daiquiri

60ml Plantation 3 Star Rum
10ml Giffard Blue Curacao
30ml Fresh lime juice
5ml – 10ml Giffard Sugar Syrup, according to taste

Hard shake.

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