Why Winning The Giffard West Cup Is So Special

Studio 1939, Singapore

Studio 1939, Singapore

It is a one shot deal, no second chances, no “you’ll get ’em next time”, just one chance to win against true cocktail champions from around the world, a once in a lifetime opportunity win the Giffard West Cup. Just to make the challenge that little bit harder, the competition is only held every two years but the next one is looming large and heading our way in Spring 2015.

Make no mistake; the Giffard West Cup is one of the world’s premier cocktail championships drawing the champion bartenders from around the globe to Angers in France for two days of intense creativity. The national and regional heats are well underway and Asia has already found its champion in Kino Soh who won the Giffard East Cup last month.

Kino Soh (right) with Edith Giffard at Studio 1939, Singapore

Kino Soh (right) with Edith Giffard at Studio 1939, Singapore

What makes the Giffard East Cup final so interesting is that it is exactly the same format as the West Cup final. Each of the bartenders must make two cocktails. The first is along a set theme that is broad enough to allow creativity yet tight enough to bind each competitor to the challenge and to each other. Everyone has an opportunity to think, plan and perfect their offering ahead of the big day and then do their utmost to replicate their best offerings for the judges. No easy task but compared with the black box challenge of the second cocktail, it’s a breeze.

For the second cocktail, each of the bartenders is simply presented with a black box, containing a surprise selection of potential ingredients. They do not know what will be in the box, there is no opportunity to research and prepare, just a few moments to turn inspiration into a cocktail that will blow the judges’ socks off and win that coveted number 1 spot. Easy, huh?

The Giffard East Cup finalists. From left to right, Sam Wong, Kino Soh, Jeremie Tan and Mike Cheong

The Giffard East Cup finalists.
From left to right, Sam Wong, Kino Soh, Jeremie Tan and Mike Cheong

There were 4 finalists for this year’s East Cup Final, Kino Soh of the Hopscotch Bar, Jeremie Tan from Jekyll ‘n Hyde, Mike Cheong from the Woo Bar and Sam Wong from the Ah Sam Drink Stall. Each of them had won several highly competitive local rounds to have the honour of representing their country or region at the final and then entered the final 3 knockout rounds that saw Kino Soh emerge victorious and heading to the Giffard West Cup final in April. This competition was tighter than a bank manager’s smile so, while we look forward to enjoying Kino’s cocktails in Anjou next year, we thought everyone’s recipes should be out there for everyone to enjoy.

Winner Kino Soh with her Menthe Paradis

Winner Kino Soh with her Menthe Paradis

1st Place – Kino Soh from the Hopscotch Bar

‘Menthe Paradis’
Ingredients:
45ml Blackcurrant infused gin
10ml Lemon juice
1 Whole passion fruit
15ml Simple syrup
10ml Menthe Pastille
6 Drops Elekumale bitters

Shake and double strain

Garnish:
Garnish with a cinnamon stick, star anise and crushed pink peppercorn

Glassware:
A wooden bowl.

From the Black Box – ‘Pink Jam’
Ingredients:
45ml Ron Zacapa Rum
25ml Cinnamon Orange Dragon Fruit Syrup
15ml Fresh orange juice
10ml Fresh lemon juice
10ml Giffard Rhubarb Liqueur

Method
Dry shake + Shake with ice and strain

Garnish:
Dragon fruit slice, orange flame and grated cinnamon

Glassware:
Coupe

Mike Cheong's Chai of Life

Mike Cheong’s Chai of Life

2nd Place – Mike Cheong from Woo Bar

‘Chai Of Life’
Ingredients:
30ml Absolute Pear
15ml Chamomile infused gin
25ml Passion fruit puree
10ml Menthe Pastille
30ml Chrysanthemum tea
Fresh muddled cucumber

Garnish:
Sliced cucumber

Glassware:
Persian Tea Set

From the Black Box – ‘Back in the days’
Ingredients:
30ml Ford’s Gin
20ml Giffard Pear Williams
10ml Parfait Amour
10ml Fresh lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Muddled Lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves

Method:
Shaken and strained

Garnish:
Cinnamon, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves

Glassware:
Crafted orange bowl

Jeremie Tan's Gold Rush

Jeremie Tan’s Gold Rush

3rd Place – Jeremie Tan from Jekyll and Hyde

‘Gold Rush’
Ingredients:
45ml Don Papa Rum
20ml Menthe Pastille
20ml Homemade Gula Melaka, ABC stout, 70% dark
10ml Lime juice
1 egg yolk
Ground cinnamon

Garnish:
Gold flakes, dehydrated Thai mint powder, gold coin chocolate

Glassware:
Asian teacup, banana leaf, plate, brown sugar

From the Black Box – ‘My Secret Garden’
Ingredients:
45ml G’ Vine Floraison Gin
30ml Giffard Green Melon Liqueur
15ml Fresh lemon juice
15ml Simple syrup
1 egg white

Method
Shake and Strain

Garnish:
Pandan leaves, Lime leaves and a lemon wheel

Glassware:
Rock glass

Sam Wong putting the finishing touches to his Secret Garden

Sam Wong putting the finishing touches to his Secret Garden

4th Place – Sam Wong from the Ah Sam Drink Stall

‘Secret Garden’
Ingredients:
30ml Vodka
15ml Giffard Menthe Pastille
15ml Giffard Cacao White Liqueur
150g of Vanilla Ice Cream
2 teaspoons of Oreo bits
1 teaspoon of orange peel

Garnish:
Oreo bits, mint sprig and hand whipped cream with Giffard Menthe Pastille

Glassware: Old Fashioned

From the Black Box – ‘Mata Hari’
Ingredients:
40ml Tanqueray 10 Gin
20ml Dolin Sweet Vermouth Rouge
20ml Noilly Prat
20ml Giffard Maraschino Liqueur
20ml Fresh limejuice
1 whole mangosteen
½ Kaffir Lime Leaf
Dash of chilli

Method:
Muddle and shake

Garnish:
Mangosteen shell, cinnamon, a clove dragon fruit and pandan

Glassware:
Tiki

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About Giffard Liqueurs & Syrups

Giffard is a family owned liqueurs and syrups company based in Angers, Val de Loire, France. Our founder, Emile Giffard, was a dispensing pharmacist who combined his professional skills with Gallic gourmet curiosity and in 1885 invented a pure, clear and refined white mint liqueur called Menthe Pastille. Four generations later, Giffard remains committed to quality, natural produce in all our liqueurs and syrups because we believe that flavour is always the best ingredient. Please drink responsibly.
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