Courvoisier announces UK semi-finalists in global competition

Courvoisier cocktail

Six bartenders have been announced as semi-finalists vying to represent the UK at the global final of Courvoisier’s Toast of Paris cocktail competition.

Challenged to create a twist on a classic Champagne Cocktail, they have been selected to compete in the semi-final at Punch Room at the London Edition hotel on April 13.

They are Jason Ballantyne from The Bureau in Birmingham, Kyle Hamilton from Panda & Sons in Edinburgh, and – from London – Mikey Cook from Rules Cocktail Bar, Witek Wojaczek from the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, Dario Guaglione from The Worship Street Whistling Shop, and Luca Rapetti from Library Bar at The Lanesborough.

The UK winner will travel to Paris to compete against finalists from Canada, Austria, Germany and France in the global final in May.

After the competition, the group will travel to the Courvoisier Chateau in Jarnac in south-west France and visit the centuries-old Paradis Cellar with master blender Patrice Pinet. Here, they will be presented with the prize of a bespoke Courvoisier blend cognac in an engraved crystal decanter.

The UK semi-final will be hosted by Courvoisier global brand ambassador Rebecca Asseline and Maxxium UK’s Mixxit training team.

It follows a roadshow of masterclasses across the country, led by Rebecca, to educate nearly 500 bartenders on Courvoisier and the versatility of cognac and how it can be used to create vibrant and aromatic cocktails.

Used as an introduction to the competition, the masterclasses are part of Courvoisier’s new global brand campaign, The Toast of Paris Since 1889, which highlights the brand’s Parisian heritage and its role in the Paris Golden Age in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Chris Anderson, Maxxium UK’s marketing controller for luxury brands, said: “The calibre of entries for the UK leg of The Toast of Paris International Cocktail Competition has been incredibly inspiring and we are hopeful that the winner will represent the UK in the global final proudly.

“Building on the new brand campaign, The Toast of Paris Since 1889, the competition is linking leading markets around the world to celebrate and encourage the use of Courvoisier in signature serves like the Champagne Cocktail.”

Rebecca added: “It has been an extraordinary and inspiring journey to go review entries of such quality. Not only are the cocktail recipes very well thought out and carefully crafted, but the stories behind them are enchanting and poetic.

“A grand merci to all of those who entered, and good luck to the semi-finalists!”

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