The Beam Suntory cognac brand says the annual Toast of Paris International Cocktail Competition challenges the world’s top bartenders to push the boundaries of the cognac category and capture the exuberance of the Paris Golden Age (1870-1910) through the art of modern mixology.
This year, bartenders will be tasked with creating two unique Courvoisier cocktails. The first is an aperitif-style drink that has a low ABV, is ideal for before dinner and encapsulates the Parisian lifestyle of frequenting brasseries and cafes.
The second is a cocktail inspired by the Parisian nightlife that captures ‘La Joie de Vivre’. One cocktail will need to represent the Belle Époque era in Paris (late 1800s) and the other a modern twist on a Paris Golden Age cocktail, says organisers Maxxium UK.
Entry for submissions will close on March 3 and the global final will take place in May in Paris.
Bartenders will compete for a bespoke blend of Courvoisier presented in an engraved crystal decanter. The finalists will also travel to the Courvoisier Chateau in Jarnac, and visit the centuries-old Paradis Cellar to meet with Courvoisier’s master blender, Patrice Pinet.
In the UK, the competition will begin with masterclasses in five cities in January and February, in which attendees will be given a multi-sensory experience hosted by Courvoisier global brand ambassador, Rebecca Asseline, and Maxxium UK’s MIXXIT team.
The masterclass will include information on Courvoisier’s history and heritage and its Paris Golden Age heritage, including food pairings and cocktails.
Regional heats will be held across the country and six semi-finalists will compete this April in London for a place in the global final. Semi-finalists will receive an overnight stay in London including a luxury dinner and Courvoisier bar tour hosted by Asseline and a special guest.
Maxxium UK’s Beam brands marketing controller, Johna Penman, said: “This year in the UK, the competition is expanding to include regional heats to encourage even more bartenders to come up with their interpretation of this epic time period through cocktails.
“The on-trade is an increasingly important segment of the business and Maxxium UK continues to invest in education and engagement.”
UK Masterclass schedule
· London January 16/17
· Manchester January 24
· Bristol February 15
· Birmingham February 21
· Newcastle February 27
· Edinburgh February 28
· London March 27
· Edinburgh March 28
· Manchester March 29
· Bristol March 30