On Easter Sunday, five San Pedro bartenders competed in the Traveller’s National Cocktail Challenge held at Central Park. With a crowd cheering on their favorite mix master, the contestants were put through a series of three elimination rounds.
The first round required each bartender to prepare three original cocktails based on three Traveller’s liquors. The second round was a speed round requiring the bartenders to prepare at least four cocktails from a list of seven specific recipes, and the last round paired two finalists against each other.
The finalists were asked to prepare two cocktails based on ingredients from a mystery box. The mystery box contained four ingredients and the bartenders were required to choose three of the ingredients. They were allowed 15 minutes to write their recipes and name their two cocktails and then 10 minutes to prepare both concoctions. Each cocktail needed to be prepared with different techniques such as frozen, shaken, stirred, etc.
Judges were on hand at all times gauging their scores on taste, technique, originality, presentation, showmanship, personality, punctuality, portions, procedures and garnishes. Scores earned specific points and the bartender with the highest score was the top winner.
During the Traveller’s National Cocktail Challenge there will be a total of six competitions held in regional areas of Belize. Each first and second place regional winners will automatically be entered in the Taste of Belize Bartender’s Competition scheduled for August, 2010.