Brand ambassador prize in G’Vine competition

Bartenders can win the role of brand ambassador as well as a cash prize in this year’s international competition run for French gin G’Vine.

Now in its third year, the brand’s annual Gin Connoisseur Program has been launched to find bartenders with skill and knowledge from the UK and the rest of the world.

For 2013, it is dubbed L’Edition Ambassadeur (The Ambassador Edition) because the global winner will receive training and represent the brand at events such as Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

National selections are staged in major cities around the world, culminating in a week of finals in a 16th-century manor house in Cognac in south-west France where the gin is made.

European first-round competitions will be held at venues in London, Manchester, Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona. Entrants will be judged on bartending skills, gin knowledge and etiquette. Each preliminary competition features a seminar as well as a cocktail challenge.

Twelve national winners from the US, the UK, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Australia and Japan will be flown to France in June for the final, joined by three “wild cards” from countries where no preliminary competitions are held and entry is by video.

The final features challenges with cocktail expert Gaz Regan and mixologist Philip Duff followed by the G’Vine Summer Ball where each competition will earn points by running their own bar for local bartenders, media and consumers. At the end of the Ball, the G’Vine Gin Connoisseur for 2013 will be announced.

The prize is US$3,000 (£1,900) plus a tailor-made training programme taught by Philip, media training and the chance to present seminars at Tales of the Cocktail and Bar Convent in Berlin in 2013.

Bartenders need to register for the competition on by March 1, 2013.

Philip, who is organising the competition, said: “There’s a tremendous interest in the job of brand ambassador, and it’s a logical career progression for any ambitious bartender. Designing an edition of the Gin Connoisseur Program that gives bartenders the chance to acquire the skills for the next stage of their career fits nicely with G’Vine’s DNA of being traditional, but unconventional.

“G’Vine takes the long view: the more knowledgeable gin bartenders and ambassadors there are out there, the better this great spirit category will be viewed by everyone. That’s why I feel privileged to be asked to help run this contest, every year.”

The two varieties of G’Vine gin, G’Vine Nouaison and G’Vine Floraison, feature on the menus of some of the best bars across London such as Coq d’Argent, Mortons, and Caviar House & Prunier.

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