Courvoisier finds the UK’s ‘most spontaneous’ bartender


Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell (pictured) has been declared the UK’s most spontaneous bartender in the final of a competition run for Courvoisier cognac in France.

Using ingredients from a mystery box, she created the Jarnac Jedi, made using Courvoisier Exclusif with lemon juice, gomme syrup, marmalade and apple juice, garnished with an apple fan and cinnamon.

The competition, held at the Courvoisier Château in Jarnac in the Cognac region, was part of the brand’s Here’s to Now campaign, which inspires consumers to embrace life in the moment.

Sarah, who most recently worked at Callooh Callay in London, went head to head with finalist Federico Gisbert Johnson of Hawksmoor in Guildhall, London, to compete for one ticket to Paris for a VIP overnight trip.

He created a drink called Summer in Jarnac, mixing Courvoisier Exclusif with Campari, sugar and lemon juice, garnished with raspberries and strawberries plus a lemon twist.

The prize included staying at a five-star hotel with views of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. This was preceded by 24 hours in Jarnac where the two bartenders were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience while staying at the château.

It included a private tour of Courvoisier’s Le Paradis cellar where both finalists were given a bottle of Courvoisier XO, signed by Courvoisier’s master blender Patrice Pinet.

The finalists were judged on their responsiveness and intuitive skills as they created cocktails from mystery box ingredients with the aid of an assistant taken from an audience of 30 UK consumers who accompanied them on the trip.

A judging panel oversaw proceedings and included Patrice, global brand ambassador Rebecca Asseline, and Jennifer Szersnovicz, communication and trade relations manager for Courvoisier’s owner Beam Suntory.

Both finalists’ drinks were so popular that they will be served to guests at the château over the next year.

Throughout the trip, spontaneous touches reminded guests to live in the moment and demonstrated how cognac can be enjoyed during different social drinking occasions and not just kept for a special occasion.

As a final spontaneous twist and in recognition of his Courvoisier cocktail, Federico was invited to remain on the trip and travel to Paris.

Rebecca said: “Our finalists must be congratulated. Their quick thinking and imagination really brought their drinks to life and in the end, even though Sarah won, the decision was made to take Federico to Paris as well.

“The cocktails were amazing representations of how versatile cognac is and how Courvoisier can work so well in two very different cocktails intended for two different times of the year.

“These drinks will be served to guests of the château, which is a huge honour. We are delighted with both bartenders’ performances.”

Jarnac Jedi by Sarah Mitchell

50ml Courvoisier Exclusif
25ml Lemon juice
2 spoons of gomme syrup
1 spoon of orange marmalade
25ml Apple juice

Shake and serve on the rocks in a rocks glass. Garnish with an apple fan with cinnamon sprinkles.

Summer in Jarnac by Federico Gisbert Johnson

50ml Courvoisier Exclusif
25ml Lemon juice
15ml Sugar
10ml Campari

Shake and serve on the rocks in a rocks glass. Garnish with raspberries and strawberries with a lemon twist.

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