As hopeful candidates for the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) 2020 go through the application process and await the announcement of SA’s national finalists, the local judges of AGCC’s 10th anniversary edition are gearing up for their exciting roles in the prestigious event.
The first edition of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) took place in 2001, and ten editions later remains one of the most celebrated events on the international mixology calendar. To enter the Challenge candidates are required to apply online, submitting two cocktail recipes of their own creation. On the evening of the event competing finalists then have just seven minutes to mix and present their drinks to a panel of esteemed judges from the industry, confidently engaging with the panel and audience on their unique thirst quenchers and the Angostura portfolio of products.
Over the years, the global judging panel has included international industry stalwarts such as Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Hidetsugu Ueno. This year the National heat of the Challenge will be presided over by award-winning barkeeps – Kurt Schlechter, Travis Kuhn, Gareth Wainwright, Dom Walsh and George Hunter. All prominent figures on the SA cocktail scene, they have been selected as jurors for their wealth of expertise and experience. They all have a history with the Angostura brand and an in-depth knowledge of the products within The House of Angostura’s stable.
Kurt Schlechter is a renowned South African bartender, owner of experimental cocktail bar – Cause|Effect, drinks consultant, spirits aficionado and industry mentor to many. Kurt has judged many prior National and Regional Angostura Cocktail Cocktail Challenges and is our 2019 Angostura Cocktail Challenge South Africa master of ceremony.
Travis Kuhn is the owner of a Cape Town based mobile bar company, founder of the South African B.A.R (Bartending Accolades and Recognition) awards and the Diageo World Class SA Bartender of the Year 2018. Travis was a judge of the AGCC 2018 Africa and Middle East Regional challenge.
Gareth Wainwright is a stalwart in the SA cocktail industry. He has opened numerous award-winning bars and consults with liquor brands, bar owners, restauranteurs and hoteliers on creating global best practice brand strategies, beverage programs and engaging consumer experiences. Gareth was a judge of the AGCC 2016 National Challenge.
Dom Walsh has consulted on cocktail menus at some of the most successful bars and restaurants in South Africa, as well as making a name for himself by competing in local and global cocktail competitions including the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge. He also judged the National Challenge of AGCC 2016.
George Hunter is currently the reigning Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2018 SA National winner and Africa & Middle East Regional runner up. He is also a brand trainer for Angostura in South Africa.
Qualifying contestants for the National heat of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 will be announced at the end of August with the main event set to take place on Monday, 16 September. The winner of the National Challenge will progress to the Africa & Middle East Regional Competition to be held in Cyprus on the 2nd of October. The Grand Final is set for the 23rd of February 2020 in Trinidad and Tobago during Carnival Tuesday. At the Grand Finale the winning Regional finalists will battle it out for the title of Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Champion, USD$10,000 and a two-year contract as Angostura’s Global Brand Ambassador; providing an opportunity for the Champion to tour the world and influence bartenders to experiment and explore products in the Angostura portfolio.
The Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Final is also an immersive experience into Angostura’s rich history and the culture of Trinidad and Tobago. While in Trinidad and Tobago finalists enjoy the experience of a lifetime as they are treated to all the riches the islands have to offer, including a tour of the Angostura Distillery and Museum, visits to local pan yards and the chance to “play mas” in full costume on Carnival Tuesday.
For more information on the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge visit www.AngosturaGlobalCocktailChallenge.com.
For more information on Angostura bitters and cocktail recipes visit www.angosturabitters.com.