Scots bartenders toast to the next stage

TWO Edinburgh bartenders are London-bound next week (April 11) for the semi-finals of the Courvoisier Toast of Paris global cocktail competition.

Courvoisier’s global brand ambassador, Rebecca Asseline

Having taken part in the Edinburgh heat of the competition (other heats took place in London, Manchester and Bristol), Iscia Crenn from The Voyage of Buck and Jonathan Arthur of Bramble have made it to the semi-finals after it was said to be too close to call between the two.

Elsewhere, Luca Rapetti from the Donovan Bar (London), Sofia Pinckard from The Wilderness (Manchester) and Alex Godfrey from Red Light (Bristol) came out on top in their respective heats; they will join Crenn and Arthur at the semi-final in the Savoy Hotel’s Beaufort Bar next week.

All participating bartenders were tasked with creating one of two unique Courvoisier cocktails: an aperitif-style drink with a low ABV that “encapsulates the Parisian lifestyle and culture of brassieres and cafes”, or a cocktail “inspired by Parisian nightlife”.

Each semi-finalist will get an overnight stay in London the night before the competition, including the opportunity to dine at Balthazar with head bartender Brian Silva; they will also be privy to a Courvoisier bar tour, hosted by global brand ambassador, Rebecca Asseline.

Following the semi-final heats, the global final will take place in May in Paris where bartenders from the UK, Canada, Germany, France and Austria will compete for a coveted prize – a bespoke blend of Courvoisier presented in an engraved crystal decanter.

Commenting on the competition, Asseline said: “This year we had an impressive group of bartenders which made choosing just one finalist from each heat quite challenging. In fact, in Edinburgh we chose two!

“The judges, myself included, were truly blown away by the level of expertise showcased and the knowledge of Courvoisier and Cognac displayed by the bartenders.”