Last night 22 of the world’s top mixologists converged on Angers, France for the final of the 2013 Giffard West Cup. This year the cup has been expanded and along with 9 representatives from France, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic Denmark, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom have all held regional heats and sent forward a champion to represent their nation.
The final is one intense day of competitive mixology. The first round is the Concours de Création, the creative challenge. Followed by the Giffard School Cup and the then the Concours d’Improvisation, the improvisation challenge.
The rules are tight and in the Concours de Création contestants must produce their own original cocktail, for four people, that contains at least 1cl of Giffard Premium Liqueur and they have to do it in fewer than seven minutes, demonstrating precise presentation and in-depth knowledge. The cocktail must comply with I.B.A. rules and contain just one spirit base, no more than 5 liquid ingredients in total and no more than 5 additional ingredients such as eggs, condiments, spices, plants, crushed fruits or sugar.
Our national champions this year
From Austria we are joined by Stefan Himmelbauer of Manic Bar Artists.
The Belgium champion is Nicolas Everrard of the Loui Lounge and Bar, Grand Hotel, Brussels.
From the Czech Republic comes Katerina Kluchovà, representing her country and the Hemingway Bar in Prague.
Canada has sent us two champions, Scott Curry from the Alta Bistro in Whistler and from Vancouver’s Keefer Bar comes Gez McAlpine. Their countrymen have been very vocal on Social Media in support of these two.
From Denmark Arnfred Anders has come south from the Duck and Cover in Copenhagen.
France has 9 representatives including
David Biron from Le Marlowe in Nantes.
Local lady, Charlotte Boidron of Les 2’A in Angers.
Sorya Sao from the Monkey Club in Lyon.
Valentin Disson from Comptoir de la Bourse in Lyon.
Damien Monestier from the Univers Speakeasy
Richard Ligner of L’Astre Aux Notes in Nantes
Alexandre Gallean from le Vieux Tours bar in Tours.
Tanguy Charbonnet form the Hotel du Golfe Barriere de Deauville.
Michael Charaoui from the Cambridge Bar in Dieppe.
Matteo Saba has flown in from the Tek Bar in Arezzo, Italy.
From Germany we have Maren Meyer of MeyFeld Genussklubb in Hannover and Kurlrle Rike from Harry’s New York Bar, in Frankfurt.
From Spain, Sergio Padilla Molina hails from the Boca Chica bar in Barcelona.
Representing Singapore is Naz Arjuna from the Pitmasters bar.
Anu Apte from the Rob Roy Bar in Seattle is America’s champion.
The United Kingdom has adopted an Australian as its champion and selected Paul Williams from Trailer Happiness/Callooh Callay.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the fine judges who represent a wealth of drinks, cocktail and culinary experience.
Judging execution we have presidents of the French Barmen Association, Jean-Yves Morinière and Philippe Picard. They are joined by Karsten Kuske, Giffard’s Brand Ambassador to Germany and owner of a Bartender school near Frankfurt.
The tasting judges include Bruno Giffard and Edith Giffard, François Philippot, Pauline Quigis, Sophie Godefroy and Julien Séverinne (in charge of the assembly process.
We will post a number of competition updates here, on Facebook and Twitter as the competition progresses. We wish all of the contestants the best of luck.