A report on the Dream Date Cocktail Contest

Jim Bishop said, "A good writer is not necessarily a good book critic. No more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender." Well, for all those `Coyote Uglies' out there, bartending is not just about shuffling and tossing drinks. It has a lot more attached to it. And this was seen at the Marie Brizard Dream Date Cocktail Contest organised recently in the Capital. The 15 short-listed finalists had to submit an original cocktail recipe using any of the Marie Brizard flavours as its base. The flavours included amaretto, apry (apricot brandy), cacao brun, crème de banane, crème de menthe verte (green mint), curacao blue (blue curacao), curacao orange, fraise be boise (wild strawberry), limonchini, melocoton NP and peche (peach). The theme of the competition was, "What would you serve when a hot Bollywood couple enters your pub." Additionally, participants could use any of the following premium alcoholic beverages in their recipe - sky vodka, campari, cinzano vermouth, Jose Cuervo tequila or cutty stark scotch to make their cocktail. The jury included Shatbhi Basu, a leading bar consultant, Yangdup Lama (recipient of The Indian Bartender of the Year 1996 Award) and other professionals from the hospitality industry. Singer Shibani Kashyap was the celebrity judge.


These innovative cocktails were open to the audience for bidding and the "Audience Choice Award" was given to a participant who fetched the highest bid from the crowd present on the occasion. The competition had a spontaneous cocktail-making round too, where the contestants had 10 minutes to think and make a cocktail drink out of the available ingredients drawn by the participants. Arshad Khan from Taj Palace won the competition along with the highest bid for his drink of Rs. 60,000. He would be going to Bordeaux, France, this December to participate in the International Bartending Competition. A bartending performance by Iain Davis from Hyatt Regency was a surprise pop-up. Intoxicated?