One Aldwych bartender wins UKBG final

UKBG Finalists Fabrizio Thiella, Massimo Lisi, Pedro Paulo and Swami KorgaonkarPedro Paulo from One Aldwych has won a place at the International Bartenders Association World Final competition in South Africa after being named UK champion.

He triumphed at the final of the UK Bartenders Guild National Cocktail Competition, sponsored by Bénédictine Liqueur, at SkyLounge at DoubleTree by Hilton Tower of London last week.

He fought off tough competition from 21 other mixologists who had won earlier heats and will head to South Africa on an all-expenses-paid five-day trip to represent the UK at the 2014 IBA World Final.

His winning cocktail was One DOM, taking its name from his bar and Bénédictine’s motto, “Deo Optimo Maximo”, meaning “To God, most good, most great”. It was a delicate mix of ingredients including Bénédictine, Zorokovich vodka, lime juice and honey.

Finalists were challenged to create their own personalised cocktail, which had to include a minimum of 25ml of Bénédictine. Judges scored them on the appearance, aroma and taste of their creation as well as their knowledge of the French liqueur and their creative skill.

Daniel Crebesse, president of the UK Bartenders Guild, said: “Once again, the competition has been fantastic, and the quality of both bartenders and cocktails has been exceptional. Pedro has shown a high level of professionalism and dedication throughout the competition and we’re delighted to announce him as the winner.

“We have high hopes for him in the IBA final in South Africa, and, based on the quality of his cocktail we saw at the final, the UK’s chances next year are strong indeed.”

Second place was won by Massimo Lisi of The Craignelder Hotel and Restaurant in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, while third place went to Swami Korgaonkar of Simpson’s in the Strand in London. The best technical award was won by Fabrizio Thiella from London hotel The Lanesborough.

Pictured, left to right, are Fabrizio Thiella, Massimo Lisi, Pedro Paulo and Swami Korgaonkar.

Pedro, who is from Portugal, is head bartender at the Lobby Bar at One Aldwych in London’s West End and was the 2012 winner of The Galvin Cup bartender competition.

Paul Curry, brand manager for Bénédictine, said: “With Bénédictine’s unique flavour being a great ingredient for cocktails, we were expecting some really exciting cocktails, and we weren’t disappointed. Congratulations to Pedro for a really special Bénédictine cocktail recipe and best of luck to him in the IBA final next year.

“The UKBG National Cocktail Competition is an exceptional contest and it’s been an absolute pleasure to have been involved with it this year. Thank you to everyone at the UKBG, and in particular Mike Sweetman, London area chairman, and Tom Elms Photography for making the competition such a great success.”

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