Bols - The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge 2012

Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | By:

A mini Bols Around The World has come to TwentyOne Tables+ Terrace on 10 October 2012, bringing International Brand Ambassador Malika Saidi and Asia Brand Ambassador Jamey Merkel to Malaysia.

9 bartenders representing 5 bars in Kuala Lumpur were competing not only on the taste of their cocktails but also their presentation and preparation which would be assessed by the judges’ team that consists of 50% score.

The participants were Kelvin Lee from Marini’s 57, Andreas and James from Werner Group, Ace and Fitz from TwentyOne Tables + Terrace, MD Delwar Hossain and Zin Naing Oo from 32 Bistro, Zet Metusael Tamanob and Osmund Ulah from WIP. Each team were to present one Classic Cocktail and one the team’s own creation to the 100 guests that evening. The guests’ votes for each of the cocktail category were to count as 50% of the total results, adding on top of the scores by the judges’ team made up of Saidi, Merkel and Halim from Bar Pro.

The cocktails were to be created using products provided by the organiser, they included any type of Bols liquors, Cruzan Rum, Galliano, Larios, Vaccari Sambuca, Sauza and Effen Vodka. Participants were also allowed to prepare their own mixers such as juices, sodas and fruits but to bring their own equipment for the competition.

Classic Cocktail Round
In the first session of Classic Cocktails, Marini’s 57 chose the same recipe – Grasshopper as TwentyOne Tables + Terrace. The minty concoction by the former station resembled the After Eight chocolate with a simple mint leave garnish whereas the latter tasted more milky and was garnished with a slice of lemon and cherry. Werner Group prepared the classic Bee’s Knees but adding egg white to make the drink frothier. The first sip gave a mild honey taste but while we returned for the drink again after 10 minutes, the drink turned warm and egg white smell became apparent. 32 Bistro served its classic Swimming Pool without crushed ice, it made the spirits tasted heavy and the drink stale as the ice cubes melted. We moved on to WIP station and were served a classic Lychee Martini, it was refreshing after all the previous creaminess. It is often seen as a girly drink and also, whether you are into lychee or you are not.

Original Cocktail Round
The second session was to showcase each outlet’s own creation or an original cocktail. Marini’s 57’s The Grand Bloom used hibiscus jam instead of syrup and garnished with pickled hibiscus. The drink served in crushed ice was refreshing and long lasting. TwentyOne Tables + Terrace Thyme Out was citrusy and easy to drink, a drink enjoyed at a bar. It was garnished with a slice of lemon and thyme but we couldn’t smell the thyme, that might explain the “Out” bit. Werner Group made Honeydew–Peach Bellini with fresh honeydew puree topped with sparkling wine, it was uplifting and the fizziness brought out the fragrant of fresh honeydew. 32 Bistro Effenista was the competition drink created for the launch of Effen Vodka in June. We thought the orange based cocktail could be an easy option for a night out and was quite strong in its alcohol content. At the last station, WIP served its Eden Melon with a stalk of rosemary. It was a well-balanced drink but we wish we could smell more of the rosemary.

Preparation and Presentation
All the stations were well prepared with their ingredients and garnishes. We found Marini’s 57 efficient with only one man handling the station and well equipped for its drinks, for example: the crushed ice machine for the cocktail The Grand Bloom. We were also very impressed by the tidiness of WIP’s station where the bartender’s practise in preparation was consistent and meticulous; it showed good organization skill and the non-drip “cut” from his pouring displayed professionalism.

Best Dress

The participating teams were encouraged to be creative about their dressing. Marini’s 57 work uniform has definitely exhibited the dedication of the bar towards cocktail making. With it's bar back vest and striking red shirt, Lee walked away with the best dress trophy of the night.

Best dress was also given to guests in the event. Lorna from Scotland won the trophy with her pink wig and her 5 fun camera poses.

The Results
Champion: WIP walked away with RM2,000 cash and a trophy.
1st runner-up: Marini’s 57 walked away with RM1,000 cash and a trophy.
2nd runner-up: 32 Bistro walked away with RM500 cash and a trophy.
Marini's 57: Kelvin Lee

Classic: Grasshopper                   Original: The Grand Bloom

Werner Group: Andreas & James

Classic: Bee's Knees                   Original: Honeydew-Peach Bellini

TwentyOne Tables+Terrace: Ace & Fitz

Classic: Grasshopper                  Original: Thyme Out

32 Bistro: MD Delwar Hossain & Zin Naing Oo

Classic: Swimming Pool             Original: Effenista

WIP: Zet Metusael Tamanob & Osmund Ulah

Classic: Lychee Martini                Original: Eden Melon