SA bartender takes second place at the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge Africa and Middle East Regional 2020

On Wednesday, 13 November 2019 the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 Africa and Middle East Regional heat took place in Cyprus, at which SA National winner, Leighton Rathbone from Orphanage Cocktail Emporium in Cape Town took second place.

Leg Leighton Rathbone Image Credit Robyn Davie Photography

Rathbone says of his experience, “Angostura, Cyprus and her people were incredible hosts. It was a pleasure to complete with the national champions of Dubai, Kenya and Cyprus and to have placed second. But the true prize was the people I met on this journey and the friends I made”.

Up against some fierce competition from countries in the Africa and Middle East region, the finalist announced in first place was Vasile Dorofeev representing Dubai. Dorofeev says that bartending has become a way of life for him and he strongly believes that bartending is something you feel, not just something you do. He says, “The customer experience in a bar is a full 360° experience and no detail should be overlooked!”

Revealed in third place was Cyprus bartender, Natalie Kawa. Kawa has only four years’ experience in the cocktail industry but having travelled widely for the craft her passion and experiences have provided skills beyond her years. She is a master of polish vodka with a wealth of experience in teaching mixology.

Dorofeev will now move on to the Grand Final of the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 in Trinidad and Tobago in February 2020 where finalists will enjoy the experience of a lifetime with a tour of the Angostura® Distillery and Museum, visits to local steel bands and the chance to “play ’mas” in full costume on Carnival Tuesday before moving on to the contest.

The winner of the Grand Final will win the title of the “Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 Champion”, US$10,000 and a two-year contract to serve as the Angostura® Global Brand Ambassador, representing Angostura® aromatic bitters, Angostura® orange bitters, Angostura® Rums and Amaro di Angostura®.

In its commitment to nurturing young talent in the constantly evolving cocktail industry and strengthening relationships with bars and bartenders worldwide, Angostura®’s Global Cocktail Challenge is a key event for mixologists, bartenders and lovers of spirits around the globe.

Vasile Dorofeev

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