SA's best mixologist crowned

2013-06-10 12:58

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Durban - Nick Koumbarakis of The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium in Cape Town has been crowned South African Bartender of the Year at the finals of the Diageo Reserve World Class competition held in Durban recently.

Diageo Reserve World Class announced the runners up up in a statement, Haroon Haffajee of Harveys in Durban and Philip van der Heever of Baracas in Pretoria.

Judged by renowned chef and recent “Master Chef South Africa” judge, Pete Goffe-Wood, acclaimed global ambassador for the Diageo Reserve Brand (UK), Tim Etherington-Judge, one of the world’s finest ranked barmen, Ryan Duvenage of the Barcode Bar Academy, and architect of the South African National Flair Championship, Travis Kuhn of Pure Bar Studios.

As the winner of the South African leg of the World Class competition, Nick will go on to compete against the world’s best mixologist’s from over 50 countries at the Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final between July 4-9.   To be held on board the boutique Azamara Club Cruises’ ship, Azamara Journey, the voyage begins in the French Riviera, stopping in some of the Mediterranean’s most iconic and chic destinations including Nice, Monte Carlo, St Tropez, Ibiza and Barcelona.  

“Winning Diageo Reserve World Class South Africa best bartender is an incredible honour. It’s gratifying to be recognised by the world’s most prestigious mixology competition and I am excited to represent South Africa in the global final,” said Nick Koumbarakis.

The quest for South Africa’s top mixologist took place over the past nine months as Brand Ambassadors from Brandhouse (Diageo) Reserve - representing the iconic brands Johnnie Walker Blue, Johnnie Walker Platinum, Ciroc Vodka, Tanqueray Ten Gin and Don Julio Tequila - scouted mixologists from some of South Africa’s top entertainment venues.

“The level of competition and cocktail mastery at this year’s national final of the World Class competition was second to none and Nick’s triumph can be attributed to his impeccable technique, beautifully balanced drinks and ability to charm the customer,” says Dominic Bothner, Brandhouse (Diageo) Reserve’s National Category Development Manager.

Follow the final leg of the journey on the Diageo Reserve Wold Class Facebook Page.

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