Entries are open for Courvoisier cognac’s Toast of Paris cocktail competition where, for the first time, bartenders will be marked on how Instagram-worthy their drinks are.
Returning for a third year, the competition is calling for a cognac-centred expression of an “all-time classic” cocktail or a “Café Courvoisier” – a “sumptuous” twist on a coffee-based cocktail featuring Courvoisier.
There will be four regional heats in the UK: London on March 26, Edinburgh on March 27, Manchester on March 28 and Bristol on March 29. The UK final will take place in London at the beginning of April.
The national winner will travel to Paris where they will compete against bartenders from across the globe for the top prize of $4,000 (£2,900) to support their future career development plus a unique blend of Courvoisier crafted by master blender Patrice Pinet, presented in an engraved, crystal decanter. All the national winners will also travel to Jarnac in south-west France – the home of cognac.
Judges for the UK heats will give scores based on bartender skill and innovation, cocktail flavour and, for the first time, how Instagrammable the finished drink looks – a new feature that acknowledges “the role of the modern bartender in providing experiences to cocktail drinkers beyond the serve”.
Courvoisier’s global brand ambassador Rebecca Asseline said: “Even before a drink is served, bartenders have an ability to captivate you with a passion and enthusiasm for their art that goes far beyond the glass.
“The experience of a cocktail is at the heart of Courvoisier, encapsulating our rich heritage and celebrating all that we are. I cannot wait to see how the bartenders draw me into the experience as we celebrate the craftsmanship that embodies Courvoisier.”
With distributor Maxxium UK, Rebecca has been leading masterclasses around the UK on Courvoisier to prepare bartenders for entering the competition. After sessions in London, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bristol and Birmingham, the next will be in Liverpool on February 13, in Glasgow on February 19, in Edinburgh on February 20 and in central London on March 5. Click here for details.
The competition aims to challenge bartenders to push the boundaries of the cognac category, using their talent to create new and exciting serves.
To apply for the competition, bartenders must showcase their skill by using Courvoisier VSOP in one or both of the cocktail options. The deadline for entries is March 20 via https://www.courvoisier.com/thetoastofpariscompetition/.
They must channel the “exuberance” of the Parisian Belle Époque, the golden age from 1870 and 1910 when culture and invention flourished, and showcase originality and knowledge of the art of cocktail making, bringing to life the depth of the cognac in new and exciting ways.
Alongside the ingredients and method for their cocktails, bartenders have the option of submitting a video showcasing their serve and the inspiration behind it.
The judges in the regional heats will include Rebecca who will also be on the panel at the global final in Paris alongside Patrice and Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s most celebrated bartenders.
From Paris, all finalists will travel to Jarnac where they will spend the night at Château Courvoisier and enjoy a gala dinner and tour of the historic paradis cellar.
Each finalist will also be appointed a Courvoisier Lumière: an exclusive collective of bartenders across the world who embody the “joie de vivre” of Courvoisier.
To register and for more information, visit https://www.courvoisier.com/thetoastofpariscompetition/