Spirits high as World Class regional finals in Cape Town sets off prestigious mixology contest in SA

Can you imagine a life without enjoying those pleasures that satiate your taste buds?

At Traveller24 we can’t imagine such a life, and we fully understand the need to experience all the culinary joys that come with travelling.

Whether you’re in a foreign city for the first time in your life or a tourist in your hometown, there are always restaurants, cocktail bars, street foods, lounges, food trucks, pubs and a variety of eateries to indulge in some taste bud tickling.

SEE: Will travel for food: Award-winning restaurants to add to your travel bucket-list

If there’s one thing life is too short for, it’s a mediocre cocktail.

No one wants to explore an exotic getaway or bar hop their city only to end up with a watery drink that you could’ve poured out of a box.

Ensuring that cocktails maintain all-round high quality by delivering style, sophistication, creativity, skill and of course superb taste, World Class hones the art of bartending with a series of contests that culminate with a grand international winner.

In South Africa, the contest is currently underway, having started with the regional competition in Cape Town on Monday, 21 May.

The two-round contest saw 10 of the region's best mixologists compete for a spot in the national finals which takes place in June. Durban, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg regional finals commence this week to see who makes it to the national round.

The national winner will then get one step closer to competing in the international World Class competition set for Berlin in 2018.

In the first round, Tanqueray gin was the core ingredient used in a concoction that highlights the theme around heritage and family. In the second round, with the theme “The Future of Cocktails to Come”, Don Julio tequila was the prime alcohol used.

ALSO SEE: Top tipple tips for International Cocktail Day

Brent Perremore grabbed the title of World Class 2018 bartender in the Cape Town regional leg of the mixology competition.

Hailing from Crush Mobile Bar, his first drink was inspired by the northern hemisphere’s Iceland with a South African summery twist. He called the drink “Northern Exposure” and topped it off with a thin and crispy piece of dried salmon skin. The salty salmon balanced harmoniously with the sweet cocktail.

Perremore’s second drink - when contestants had to design a cocktail for the future – incorporates the idea of offering more with less in a small drink with big flavour, paired with a tiny dish. He also drew inspiration from Japan with this cocktail.

World Class Regional Finalists Top 10 Cape Town

From quirky bars and artsy cocktails, to creative mixologists who not only take pride in what they do while experimenting with different flavours and elements, but also practice sustainability and environmental responsibility in their craft, take a look at the 10 finalists and the bars they belong to.

Franschhoek Beer Co.

From Franschhoek Beer Co., Johannes David Van Zyl’s first drink, “Terroir Symphony”, was inspired by the winelands.


Sabrina Traubner was one of two female mixologists competing in the top 10 in the Mother City. With a focus on being resourceful and creative, she served her first drink in the skins of a citrus fruit, while for her second drink she placed extra emphasis on ensuring there was no spillage while using resources to its fullest.

Cause and Effect

Two bartenders made the regional finals from this cocktail bar.

Aidan Powrie, aka the “mad scientist” from Cause and Effect, presented is first drink made in no time with only three ingredients, coupled with a dash of entertainment.

For his second drink he says that the big trend is going to be a focus on sustainability, and made a mix using his home-made honey.

Meanwhile Justin Shaw from Cause and Effect named his first drink Santina, after his grandmother. He delivered a powerful story on his heritage and relationship with his grandmother while combining ingredients that reflect his heritage, creativity and skill as a mixologist to present this masterpiece of a drink.

His second drink was equally mind-blowing in its delivery with the use of dry ice and mushroom scents to create a drink experience of sorts, and the use of herbal ingredients in what is probably the healthiest alcohol beverage we’ve ever tasted.

The Botanical Bar

Bringing in only good vibes, Peter Lebese from The Botanical Bar says that his second drink is for the party people who only need 1 or 2 to get them going for the night.

Café Caprice

Josh Fez Sarembock from Café Caprice whipped up his first drink inspired by his family, while his second drink is an environmentally-conscious beverage made with global warming and the water crisis in consideration. He also uses syrup and ingredients he has grown and produced.

Perfect Serve

Displaying his bartending shaking, throwing and stirring talents was Travis Kuhn from Perfect Serve, who boasts over 20 years in the industry.

Sip Exclusive

Kelly Webster from Sip Exclusive made her first drink inspired by where she grew up in northern Botswana. For her second drink she uses blue cheese foam over the beverage containing Don Julio tequila and kombucha.

Owen O’Reilly, also from Sip Exclusive, made punch with a predominant pineapple flavour in a tribute to summer, saying that "punch should be brought back". His second drink was an eco-friendly cocktail that uses no water. He reused tomato juice, coconut water and the pineapple from ingredients used in previous drinks and dishes, in the making of this drink.

Crush Mobile Bar

This bar service is from which Brent Perremore, the Cape Town regional finals winner hails.

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