|Rai Fierro and Micke Trygg|
On March 2 I was invited to the Swedish finals of Havana Club Grand Prix 2014 cocktail competition. 14 of Sweden’s best bartenders had gathered at Rotundan inside the Royal Swedish Opera, hoping to win a spot in the global finals in Havana, Cuba, in June.
This year’s competition was somewhat different than previous years. Perhaps inspired by the recent Beefeater 24 competition in London, all invited guests (approximately 150 people) were supposed to grade each cocktail on a scale from 1 to 6. The contestants were divided into three 45 minutes heats, during which they at their individual bar stations had to impress and convince the curious and thirsty judges that their cocktail was the one to reach the finals in Cuba. The concept was actually very good, as it made you interact almost like in a real work situation – except that the bartenders had to present their contributions in plastic cups and not the original serve.
|Andrea Patelli in action|
After a couple of intense hours of asking questions and analysing the drinks, the top three contestants according to the hard working judges were announced.
You could see that Emil was very happy to win this competition, after having failed at the Nordic Bacardi Legacy finals just weeks before. Emil is a determined, worthy winner and a perfect representative for Sweden at the global finals – where we will find out if his Minnie Minoso cocktail will make the cut – good luck! Here’s the recipe, what do you think?
50 ml Havana Club 7 años
10 ml Ruby Port
30 ml lime juice
15 ml honey water (dissolve 4 parts acacia honey in 1 part hot water)
Top with mint foam
Make a simple syrup (1:1) and add to a 70 cl bottle until 75% full. Add 50 ml vodka and torn mint leaves until the bottle is 100% full (make sure the leaves are under the surface) and let sit for 24 hours. Strain until completely clear, heat it and add gelatine. When ready, put into whipping siphon and charge.
|The happy winner Emil Åreng|