Cocktails Against the Clock

Words by: Ian Cameron and Camper English
Pictures by: Dan Malpass

22:33 GMT // 18 Jul 2011

Winner: Heinz Kaiser, Dino's American Bar, Vienna, Austria

The challenge: Each candidate had to make as many drinks as possible in six minutes - cocktails that tasted and looked good even though they were against the clock.

Challenge guru Dale DeGroff's comments: "I was so glad Heinz Kaiser won my challenge and for Europe, because as with Telis (Aristotelis Papadopoulos, 2009 World Class winner) and with Erik (Erik Lorincz, 2010 winner), maturity and experience do count for something."

This challenge was not as clear-cut as many timed cocktail challenges which are focused on the sheer numbers of drinks you can make and are less interested in whether the drinks are, well, drinkable. Not so for World Class. Dale DeGroff saw this as one of the most natural competitive reflections of a 'normal' bartending environment, where customers might want their drinks fast, but they want to make sure it's good as well.

Heinz impressed not just by making five drinks in five minutes and 30 seconds - some managed only three, though some made more - but by creating five original and twisted drinks that were balanced, nuanced and tasty as well as fast: a Frozen Cucumber Margarita, a Lagavulin Sour, a Clover Leaf, a twist on a White Russian with maraschino and a Zacapa 23 rum-based spicy Old Fashioned.

Heinz told us afterwards that his achievement was all the more satisfying given that he won this challenge last year, which was somewhat ironic as he actually had a broken arm at the time. "I had to prove it was not just luck. I didn't feel confident though - Dale was talking to me all the time but that's exactly the right situation, totally similar to when you are behind the bar and the waiters are talking to you, people are ordering and you are making 10 drinks at the same time.

Heinz was also named best performing bartender within Europe and the Middle East, beating off the following contenders.
1. Heinz Kaiser, Dino's American Bar, Vienna, Austria
2. Jamie MacDonald, The Raconteur, Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
3. Torsten Spuhn, Modern Masters, Erfurt, Germany
4. Jimmy Barrat, Zuma, Dubai
5. Aymeric Tortereau, Soda Bar, Lyon, France



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