Bacardi Martini Grand Prix
The south India leg of the famed Bacardi Martini Grand Prix was held in the city. Here’s the report card.
The much awaited bartending competition of the town was here, for the 3rd consecutive year. Bangalore played host yet again to the Bacardi Martini Grand Prix (BMGP), which continues the tradition of hunting down the best barmen & maids. Bacardi this year hosted the South India rounds on Tuesday last at Zaman, Ista.
Internationally, Bacardi has been conducting these competitions for over 40 years. Undoubtedly known as one of the most spirited events of our times, BMGP is all about the spirits from Bacardi stables, celebration and art of the cocktail. This is an A-class event for bartenders to showcase their talent in mixology.
A full day event, BGMP had about 36 competitors fighting for the top spots of two competitions: Classic Mixology & Working Flair. The Mixology competition was where the bartenders are judged for their knowledge of alcohol, drink serving etiquette and above all, their creative gene with the crafting of cocktails. Working Flair competition is the hunt for the best entertaining bartender who uses his bar tools and liquor bottles in tricky & dazzling ways such as juggling bottles and fire tricks while being able to make a make a decent drink.
The Mixology event was split into four rounds to filter the top 8 contenders. In the first heats round, competitors were required to mix and present one of their original cocktails and explain it to the judges. Next was the legacy round, where bartenders had to improvise on one of many classic cocktails, giving their own twist to it. In the magic box round the qualifying candidates had to come up with innovative cocktails with a set of given ingredients in the box. Finally the top 8 had to concoct one more original recipe using Bacardi rums to be the winner. The working flair competition had two rounds – free pour where the contestants’ pouring skills are measured and then a 5-minute flair routine.
Mr Yangdup Lama, one of the founder of Cocktails & Dreams”, India`s pioneer bartending school based in Delhi, is Bacardi`s travelling technical judge. He has finished judging similar regional rounds in Mumbai, Goa & Kolkutta. Olive Beach`s Manu Chandra was the local Bangalore representative on the technical panel as taste judge. Arvin Krishnan from Bacardi was on the panel too along with Nauheed Cyrusi judging the glamour quotient in the drinks in the finals.
The bartenders put in a good effort. Their cocktails were all-creative, but didn't push the boundaries with molecular mixology, wild garnishes or glassware. The judges however did remark that most of them were good but still needed to pay attention to detail in many areas and a little more knowledge of the products they handle.
Participating bartenders were from various bars in Bangalore, Pune, and Chennai & Cochin. The flair competition was won by Akshar from Blue Bar, the mixology event was won by Jayachandran of Liquid bar Ista. Fondly called as Jay, he created a cocktail called “Wild Liquid” in the finals to win the contest. Wild Liquid is a long drink made by muddling basil, thai ginger with lime chucks. A generous measure of Bacardi Superior in the glass full of ice topped with Cranberry juice completes it. Do ask for it next time you visit Liquid Bar at Ista.
The finalists will fly next to Delhi to participate in national finals on August 29th. 16 top barmen & maids of India will clash there and only one of them will be culled out. He will be loaded on a plane and shipped to Turin, Italy in September 2009 in all expense paid fashion to participate in Bacardi’s International Finals.
Overall the BMGP`s Bangalore leg was entertaining, though there were some definite challenges for the competitors. The bartenders had to use a Bacardi product in each of their cocktails, where the choice was wide (Superior, Revserva, Flavored Rums) so that they could make some interesting cocktails. Bartending competitions such as these are always fun and this was no exception.