Living loud with Liezel

Living loud with Liezel

Celebrating the art of the cocktail

Liezel van der Westhuizen

By Liezel van der Westhuizen

On Tuesday night Cape Town got to experience one of the finer things in life. At 15 on Orange, the South African national stars of the mixology world competed in a competition that pits South Africa’s top bartenders against one another for a shot at the prestigious title of the master bartender.
The winner walked away with an ultimate prize consisting of an all expenses paid trip to represent the country and compete against more than 40 contenders from around the globe at the World Class Global Final in Rio de Janeiro next month. The World Class Global Program aims to raise the craft of the bartender by highlighting the skill and knowledge required to create the finest drinking experiences in the world’s best bars.

South Africa has been included in the unique program I order to establish a market for luxury fine drinking. World Class has been hosting regional mixology finals throughout the country to find the ultimate liquid culinary chefs – mixologists.
The event was hosted at the newly opened conference facility at 15 on Orange with 5FM presenter Jennifer Su invited as one of the guest judges.

The regional finals were held around South Africa in May with more than 210 bartenders competing and on Tuesday night the six finalists from SA had to battle it out in a contest that not only involved mixing drinks. They had to do a written exam; a blind spirit tasting; an ingredient challenge where each contestant got R200 to buy ingredients at Gardens Pick’n Pay.

They also had to recreate the winning cocktail that they made for the regional finals. They were judged on Technique; Taste(aroma); Originality; Creativity; Appearance and Etiquette. Each contestant had seven minutes to make two drinks and meet all the judging criteria. Those of us in the crowd got to watch all of the action on big screens placed strategically around the gorgeous venue.
The winner walking away with this prestigious title was Brent Perremore, who will be the first South African to compete in the Global World Class Program.

The great thing about an event like this is it showcases bartending as a career option instead of just a part time job and gives South African bartenders the opportunity to compete on a global scale. South Africans have proved time and time again that we are world class at various competitions and here’s wishing Brent all the best in July.