Two London bartenders fought off eleven other UK finalists to take their places at the 33rd Marie Brizard Masters global cocktail competition in Bordeaux from 20th to 23rd November.
Marie Brizard the 260 year old French liqueurs distiller, distributed in the UK by Catalyst Brands, selected Andrei Pantiru, Bar Manager of 14lsq in Leicester Square and Ciprian Zsraga from the Wringer and Mangle pub in London Fields in Hackney.
Both winners were chosen by the judges for their interpretation of the competition’s Art Deco theme; the most interesting recipe; and the presentation and theatre of their creation. All entrants had to present their own unique cocktail within ten minutes containing no more than five ingredients and with at least 20ml of a Marie Brizard product.
Ciprian Zsraga, an Italian who has only been living in London for a year said: “This is a huge honour and I am so proud to represent the UK in France. The Art Deco theme inspired me to enter because I enjoy the music and culture associated with that period; it was a very sexy, carefree time with jazz and swing creating the musical backdrop to the smoky Speakeasy bars. My cocktail ‘Golden Memories’ featured an English gin, Sipsmith with Campari - a nod to my Italian heritage - along with Marie Brizard Cacao Brown, Kahlua and Lapsang Sauchong tea.”
Romanian bar manager Andrei Pantiru has worked in the UK for seven years and his cocktail, ‘Excellence’ was created using Marie Brizard Orange Curacao liqueur and Vanilla Syrup with Cognac, lemon juice and Peychaud's bitters.
Both UK winners will go on to compete against 33 other competitors from 25 other countries in November in a series of technical and creative challenges. The overall winner of the Marie Brizard Masters will be given unprecedented access to the processes and master distillers in Bordeaux to create their own unique flavour as their prize.
Eline Madrona, Marketing Director for Marie Brizard said: “Our two UK winners richly deserve their prize to represent the UK. As judges we were most impressed with the way they had interpreted the style of the theme and demonstrated their clear knowledge of the ingredients. We wish them well at the final stage of the competition next month.”
New-look for the Marie Brizard range
Earlier Marie Brizard had launched a new distinctive bottle shape for its range of liqueurs and syrups this Autumn to capitalise on its phenomenal UK growth in the last four years.
The classic liqueurs - including favourites Anisette and Parfait Amour beloved by bartenders in over 100 countries around the world - retain the same unique tastes and recipes but will relaunch with a stronger visual identity. The new, more slimline shape makes the bottle easier to hold for bartenders while reflecting the distinctive Marie Brizard Art Deco diamond motive in multiple facets in the glass.
The Marie Brizard range of liqueurs and syrups is managed in the UK by Catalyst Brands since 2012 and sales have multiplied ten-fold in that four year period making the UK its largest export market
Mike Miller from Catalyst Brands commented: “The UK is now Marie Brizard’s number one market in terms of volume and second in terms of value and our customers have really taken the brand to their hearts as their must-stock range for cocktails for their sheer range and quality.”
Click here to browse the Marie Brizard range.