The national final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge took place in Sydney this week with the winner heading to the global finals in Trinidad next year.
After a closely fought competition featuring state champions from around Australia, James Irvine from the Baxter Inn in Sydney took out the title along with a role as Australian Angostura brand ambassador and a $10,000 cash prize.
After the win, Irvine said: “I am honestly blown away. The competition was stiff and everyone that took part was a serious contender. Being an ambassador for Angostura is an amazing opportunity and is a career aspiration of mine. It will be an honour to represent such an iconic brand.
“I’m really appreciative that competitions like the Angostura Cocktail Challenge exist, as they allow us, as bartenders, to be creative, show off our skills and extend our craft.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Trinidad to compete in the global final. It would be incredible to see Australia take out back-to-back global finals.”
Second place went to Alex Boon from Jahh Tiger, Brisbane with Joe Sinagra from Bobeche, Perth taking out third. The other two finalists competing were Roman Tazhdynov from The Bibliotheca Bar, Adelaide and Paul Ramsay from Dutchess, Melbourne.
Irvine’s winning drinks were:
Rum category: ‘Mr Trinidad’
45ml Angostura 1824
45ml fresh blood orange juice
15ml Amaro Montenegro
10ml fresh lime juice
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill three-quarters full with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled smoked tiki mug and garnish with a dehydrated blood orange wheel and smoking embers.
Garnish: smoked tiki mug, dehydrated blood orange wheel w/smoking embers and mix matched candy straws.
Freestyle category: ‘Toco Beach’
60ml lightly brewed green tea, chilled
50ml Angostura Reserva
30ml fresh lemon juice
5ml Angostura orange bitters
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill three-quarters full with ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled stem less wine glass and garnish with Nasturtium flowers and mist salt water across the drink.
Garnish: saltwater mist and nasturtium flower centred.