Last Tue eve I popped in at 15 On Orange to go and watch top SA bartenders compete for the title of World Class South Africa Mixologist 2012.
Six tough manne were up for the challenge, two from KZN, two from Jozi and 2 from the Mother City. Obviously my allegiance was with the Cape Town boys… otherwise this blog would have a totally different name.
The dress code for the evening was 1920s speakeasy flair. I must admit, I scrambled last minute to put something together. By some luck I managed to make some things in my wardrobe work and then I just added a headband from Accessorize which I purchased with only 1 hour to spare. Emergency shopping at it’s best y’all.
But I was glad that I had made the effort (Cape Town folks are notorious for not dressing up when there’s a theme) because these lovely ladies were there to welcome me and I thought they looked just faaabulous daaahlings:I first dug into some yummy canapes, everything from mini pie’s topped with chocolate coated cherries and served with your own chocolate sauce dropper, to fancy “tuna art” and apple flavoured macarons topped with crispy bacon (I know, I know – that sounds totally gross, but it was actually quite cool):Then I worked the room. Some lovelies on the scene included my usual partner in crime, Lipgloss girl Leigh:
Foodie extraordinaire, Dax from Relax with Dax:
And former TV & Radio personality and all-round sweetheart, Omesh Authar:
Soon the stars of the evening started flexing their mixologist muscles and the competition was definitely on: The judging panel, which included TV & Radio presenter, singer & MC – Jen Su, had a tough job not only judging these guys on the taste of their cocktails alone, but also on their interaction with the audience, creativity and flair.
Sadly only the judges got to taste the cocktails prepared by the 6 SA finalists. But we could still indulge in 4 cocktails specially created for the event. I felt it was my duty to sample all 4 of them – all for you guys of course.
First up was the “G & Tea” – Chamomile and grapefruit with Tanqueray No 10 & carbonated Rosato water, served in a flute:
Next up was “The Jubilee” – a spiced berry cordial with Earl Grey infused Ciroc Vodka, hints of citrus and a cranberry foam:
Then I ventured into the dark side with the “Cafe de Gonzalez” – Don Julio Reposado tequila with apricot liqueur and apple rum cordial, topped with creme de cacao & lime foam:
Lastly “The Kilmarnock Love Affair” – Johnny Walker Gold with citrus liqueur, charred rosemary, honey & thyme:
The man behind these interesting concoctions, Nick Koumbarakis, was on the scene to talk to us about the taste journey he wanted to take people on. If mixology is your thing, do check out his blog - The Alchemist Says.
By the end of the evening, Brent Perremore from Asoka in Cape Town was announced as the winner, with Charles Malan from Buena Vista in Cape Town his runner-up. I love that the Cape Town boys dominated. Big up guys!
I’m going to email him to find out if he needs someone to help carry his bags…
On our way back to the parking garage, we stumbled upon a glittery, golden couch in the lift. Now what does 2 girls, a boy, a lift and a golden couch equal? An impromptu photoshoot opportunity of course:
A huge thank you to the people at Greater Than PR who put this event together. This party was the cat’s pajamas (that’s 1920s slang for “something particularly excellent”).