World Class 2013: Round 3

Words by Ian Cameron and Camper English

Photography by Rob Lawson

World Class 2013: Round 3 image 1

Before the final two challenges of World Class, there was a second elimination round based on the last 16's performance in the Kings of Flavour and Tapas Table challenges.

This time, instead of the poolside public elimination under the gaze of hundreds of people, judges Dale DeGroff and Spike Marchant met each of the 16 from the last round in pairs on the Sunset Bar at the back of the ship to break good news to one bartender and let the other one know they would not progressing.

Before they learned their fate, all 16 competitors faced the agonising task of preparing for the Punch & Glass challenge - for half of them, it would be a drink they would never get to serve.

The final eight were revealed as:

1.Luke Ashton, Australia
2.Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Japan
3.Jason Clark, New Zealand
4.Monica Berg, Norway
5.Mario Seijo, Puerto Rico
6.David Rios, Spain
7.Laura Schacht, Switzerland
8.Jeff Bell, United States of America

Punch & Glass

These eight next served flowing bowls of punch to all ten gurus, who walked between competitors stationed at tables on the pool deck of the Azamara Journey. Clever flourishes included liquid gold that shimmered in the drink as it swirled, and rye bread-infused Zacapa rum, while signature serves included a blowtorched chocolate egg and hay-smoked coffee with Don Julio reposado.

David Rios, Spain - WINNER

David made a Gold Basque Punch using JOHNNIE WALKER Gold Label Reserve, Amer Picon, pineapple juice, grenadine and soda, garnished with an orange slice, star anise and mint.

His signature serve comprised Ketel One vodka, Aperol-flavoured strawberries, sugar syrup, kumquat and grapefruit juice, egg white and orange bitters. it was served in a wine glass with a dried strawberry, mint leaf and a lemon twist.

Gold Basque Punch (punch)
Glass: Punch
Garnish: Orange slices, star anise, and mint leaves
Method:Build in punch bowl
60ml Johnnie Walker Gold whisky
30ml Amer Picon
30ml Pineapple juice
10ml Grenadine
30ml Soda water

Wild Strawberries Film
Glass: Coupette
Garnish: Dried strawberries, mint leaf and lemon zest spritz
Method: Muddle the strawberry with the syrup, add other ingredients and shake with ice then double strain.
50ml Ketel One vodka
20ml Aperol infused with wild strawberries
15ml Sugar syrup
20ml Kumquat and grapefruit juice (50/50 split)
1 Egg white
1 Strawberry
2 dashes Orange bitters

Other competitors listed in alphabetical order by country

Luke Ashton, Australia

Honeymoon sunset
: Cocktail
Garnish: Star anise, mint leaves and orange wheels
Method: Method here
30ml Don Julio Blanco tequila
10ml Aperol
5ml Lillet rose aperitif wine
4ml Rose liqueur
45ml Cavaillon melon juice
10ml Lemon juice

El bandito (signature serve)
Glass: Bull horn
Garnish: Orange twist and coffee bean
Method: Heat mini pot over micro burner. Add coffee beans and stir continuously till beans begin to sizzle. Turn off heat and add hay in metal ramiken into pot. Light hay and cover with pot lid. Leave for 1 minute, remove lid and ramiken and tip beans into mixing glass containing tequila. Stir and allow to rest for 2 minutes. Add PX sherry and bitters and ice, stir. Strain.
50ml Don Julio Reposado tequila
10ml Pedro Ximenez reduction with Chipotle pepper-infused chai tea
2 teaspoons Hay-smoked roasted coffee beans
1 dash 'Tex mex' reduction made of bitters and spice rub

Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Japan

Ciroc Vineyard
Glass spoons on glass stand
Garnish: Air of homemade rose tea
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into spoons.
30ml Ciroc vodka
10ml Blanquette Methode Ancestrale
5ml Uniblanc 100% Sparkling Wine
5ml Pineau des Charentes
2 barspoons orange and lemon zest
1 pinch rock salt
2 barspoons gelatin powder
120ml Homemade rose tea
1 barspoon Soy lecithin

Jason Clark, New Zealand

Azumara Tropicana
Glass: Wine glass
Garnish: None
Method: Build ingredients over ice and strain into chilled glass.
40ml Don Julio Blanco tequila
15ml Don Julio Reposado tequila
20ml Oleo Saccharum flavoured with orange, lemon and grapefruit zests, ginger and grapefruit bitters
40ml Pineapple juice
30ml Lime juice
10ml Mango syrup
1 dash Grapefruit bitters

Guatemalan Chocolate Orange (signature serve)
Garnish: Popping candy and freeze-dried Mandarin
Method: Lightly blow-torch the surface of a hollow chocolate egg and then sprinkle gold flakes on to it. Stir liquid ingredients over ice and pour into the egg and then float a layer of white chocolate and Benedictine foam on top of the liquid.
40ml Zacapa 23 rum
10ml Grand Marnier
2 dashes Black walnut bitters

Monica Berg, Norway

Punch Drunk Love
Glass: Punch glass
Garnish: Lemon wheel and sage leaves
Method: Stir over cubed ice and strain into glass
50ml Tanqueray No. TEN gin
45ml Don Julio Blanco tequila
30ml Citrus mix of lemon, lime and grapefruit
20ml Honey and eucalyptus frankincense syrup
120ml Fermented tea
1 dash Peychaud's bitters

Holy Smokes (signature serve)
Glass: Old fashioned
Garnish: Scented tissue paper
Method: Stir on ice, strain into old fashioned glass with ice
30ml Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky
30ml Dubonnet
1 dash Chocolate bitters
Stir, single, rocks, garnish

Mario Seijo, Puerto Rico

A Night in Latin America
: Highball
Method: Stir all ingredients over ice then strain over cubed ice.
60ml Zacapa XO rum
60ml Shiraz
22.25ml Aperol
22.5ml Pineapple juice
22.5 Orange juice
22.5 Demerara syrup
15ml Apple juice
1 pinch Cinnamon
4 Cloves
3 Star anise
4 dashes Spanish bitters

Vineyard cocktail (signature serve)
: Coupette
Garnish: 3 drops Angostura Bitters on top - use a cocktail stick to create a swirled effect
Method: Muddle white grapes in a shaker, then add other ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into chilled glass.
60ml Ciroc vodka
45ml Egg white
45ml Simple syrup
15ml Lime juice
3 white grapes

Laura Schacht, Switzerland

Kissing Butterflies (punch)
: Punch
Garnish: Grapefruit and lemon peel in the shape of butterflies
Method:Build in punchbowl
50ml Tanqueray No. TEN gin
10ml St. Germain
5ml Rose Syrup
1 dash Rose water
1 dash Lemon bitters
1 dash Grapefruit bitters
Gold powder for colour

La Caoba
: Tumbler
Garnish: Dried wild fig preserved in port
Method: Stir all ingredients and pour over a single ice ball. Place the garnished drink under a smoke-filled cloche.
40ml Zacapa XO rum
20ml Port
7m Zacapa XO rum infused with deep-fried rye bread
5ml Wild Cherry Brandy
5ml Simple syrup

Jeff Bell, USA

A fit of Sage
: Coupe
Garnish: Graham cracker and Maldon sea salt
Method: Muddle sage leaf with lime, then add the rest of the ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into chilled coupe.
60ml Don Julio reposado tequila
22.5ml White creme de cacao
22.5ml Lime
6 drops Mole bitters
1 sage leaf

Against the Clock

Tuesday morning's Cocktails Against the Clock challenge was wild, loud, and charged with energy. At the back of the ship in the Sunset Bar, the eight finalists were required to make up to eight drinks in just ten minutes while all ten judges scrutinized their work.

Most bartenders cranked out some classically-inspired cocktails and other original creations, and many took huge chances with their selections. This included egg white drinks requiring two rounds in the shaker; cocktails designed to match the preferences of each judge; and drinks designed to embody each of the challenges of World Class.

Despite the urgency of the situation, many bartenders used jiggers to ensure unimpeachable accuracy of their measures, while others trusted their free-pouring ability to save crucial seconds. And the speed test saw no end to the creativity that characterised other rounds: there were atomised flourishes, fancy garnishes and even dry shakes against the clock.

There were some near-disastrous mishaps in the challenge though, with a Laura Schacht of Switzerland dropping her shaker (miraculously it held together) and forgotten drink ingredients, plus a pack of rogue bees that tried to sneak into the mixing glasses.

Astoundingly, five bartenders all completed eight cocktails within the allotted time, with Monica Berg of Norway finishing so early she counted her drinks twice just to be sure.

Cocktails Against the Clock was one of the most thrilling of all the challenges seen at WORLD CLASS, and a perfect one to end a grueling and glorious week watching the best bartenders in the world do what they do best.

Jeff Bell, United States of America - WINNER

Jeff made eight drinks in ten minutes in a flawless performance characterised with drinks tailored to specific judges and brilliantly unscripted banter. His drinks included a White Lady for Hidetsugu Ueno, an Aperol/cucumber drink for Telis, a Mint Julep for Julie Reiner, a tequila drink for Steve Olson, a Negroni-reminiscent variation for Peter Dorelli, a very cold Martini for Salvatore Calabrese, a drink with crème de banana for gaz regan, and a frothy drink for Arturo Savage.

Other competitors listed in alphabetical order by country

Luke Ashton, Australia

Luke made cocktails including a Negroni, Red Hook, Elderflower Mojito, Primavera, Tombola (with a dry shake) and Bandito Junior.

Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Japan

Tsuyoshi completed six cocktails, including a Negroni-style cocktail and a Gin & Whisky Sour.

Jason Clark, New Zealand

Jason trusted in his free-pouring abilities with eight drinks representing cocktails made during each challenge of the competition, including Zegroni, an Aviation variation, Silk & Saffron, Spiced Whisky Mule, Vodka Martini, Knickerbocker, and Tequila Old Fashioned.

Monica Berg, Norway

Monica finished eight drinks including Improved Whisky Cocktail with Talisker, Pink Gin, Rosita, Tropical Thing Sling, Master Cleanse, a Coffee Cocktail variation, Batanga, and Moscow Mule. She started with an old joke "Eight judges walk into a bar. How many of them get a drink? Answer: We'll see."

Mario Seijo, Puerto Rico

Mario completed six cocktails, including a Caipiroska with muddled grapes, a Sidecar, a Last Word, and a Citroen Negroni.

David Rios, Spain

David finished eight drinks, free-pouring them, including a Moscow Mule, Rosita, Clover Club, a Mai Tai variation, Gimlet, and Gin & Tonic Spanish style, garnished with a smoking cinnamon stick.

Laura Schacht, Switzerland

Laura finished eight cocktails (despite dropping the shaker) including a Horse's Neck, Morning Glory Fizz, Lavender Margarita, White Lady, French 75, Agavoni and Zacapa Manhattan.

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