Two bartenders are off to Bordeaux for the global Marie Brizard Masters cocktail competition after winning the UK final.
Both from London, they are Andrei Pantiru, bar manager of 14LSQ in Leicester Square, and Ciprian Zsraga from Wringer & Mangle in London Fields.
They impressed the judges with their interpretation of the competition’s Art Deco theme as well as with their interesting recipes and the presentation and theatre of their serves. Entrants had to present a unique cocktail in 10 minutes containing no more than five ingredients and with at least 20ml of a Marie Brizard product.
They will compete in the global final – now in its 33rd year – in Bordeaux in France from November 20 to 23 against 33 other competitors from 25 other countries.
Italian-born Ciprian Zsraga said: “This is a huge honour and I am so proud to represent the UK in France. The Art Deco theme inspired me to enter because I enjoy the music and culture associated with that period: it was a very sexy, carefree time with jazz and swing creating the musical backdrop to the smoky speakeasy bars.
“My cocktail, Golden Memories, featured an English gin, Sipsmith, with Campari – a nod to my Italian heritage – along with Marie Brizard Cacao Brown, Kahlúa and lapsang souchong tea.”
Romanian-born Andrei Pantiru’s cocktail was Excellence, created using Marie Brizard Orange Curacao liqueur and Vanilla Syrup with cognac, lemon juice and Peychaud’s Bitters.
In Bordeaux, they will face a series of technical and creative challenges. The overall winner of the Marie Brizard Masters will be given unprecedented access to the processes and master distillers in Bordeaux to create their own unique flavour as their prize.
Eline Madrona, marketing director for Marie Brizard, said: “Our two UK winners richly deserve their prize to represent the UK. As judges we were most impressed with the way they had interpreted the style of the theme and demonstrated their clear knowledge of the ingredients. We wish them well at the final stage of the competition next month.”
Marie Brizard, which is managed in the UK by Catalyst Brands, has launched a new distinctive bottle shape for its range of liqueurs and syrups this autumn to give them a stronger visual identity. The more slimline shape makes the bottle easier to hold for bartenders while reflecting the distinctive Marie Brizard Art Deco diamond motive in multiple facets in the glass.
Mike Miller, marketing director at Catalyst Brands, said: “The UK is now Marie Brizard’s number-one market in terms of volume and second in terms of value and our customers have really taken the brand to their hearts as their must-stock range for cocktails for their sheer range and quality.”