Cointreau, the French orange spirit brand established in France (Loire Valley) over 165 years ago, recently presented the Philippine edition cocktail competition of La Maison Cointreau.
An exclusive, by-invitation only competition, La Maison Cointreau sought out the best innovative talents in Manila’s hot cocktail scene and together in one night were tasked with the featured Cointreau challenge “The Muse’ –- to create a serve based on an iconic French muse that inspires the entrants – along with other brand challenges. This year’s La Maison Cointreau is also a full portfolio competition bringing to fore, the family of brands together under the La Maison Cointreau roof. These are Cointreau, Remy Martin cognac, Mount Gay rum, Bruichladdich single malt whisky and The Botanist gin with focus on the unique aspects of each brand to bring new and challenging tasks for the bartenders hoping to claim the title.
The evening was electric as final judging commenced with the very popular Belle and Dragon on Carlos Palanca street, Legaspi Village serving as the perfect venue. Part of the excitement were the identities of the judges being kept secret, only to be revealed right after the competition scores were tallied. This means that the contestants must serve their original cocktails with every guest treated like a judge.
The challenge for each of the finalists would be to serve their original Cointreau based cocktails with outstanding taste & flavor as a paramount criteria and with technique, presentation and consistency as the clincher for a winning cocktail. “It is a real world competition whereby each of the seven bartender finalists prepped over 100 cocktails for the guests to sample and only one hour to serve their respective concoctions. Each bartender will decorate their station as if it’s their own mini bar. It’s a high volume bar environment which tests their speed, and their ability to engage the crowd,” enthused competition master Lee Watson.
Inspired by Cointreau Privé in Paris, La Maison Cointreau was first launched internationally in New York City, with the aim to introduce Cointreau as the avant-garde & Parisian style spirit that enables mixologists to explore limitless cocktail variations using Cointreau, the heart of cocktails.
The winning cocktail for this year’s La Maison Cointreau is Gossip by Cedric Cello of Smith Butcher and Grill Room with his inspiration…his Muse: Marion Cotillard. The evening’s judges were Cheryl Tiu, editor at large of Lifestyle Asia; Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara of Mesclun, Paulene Chocolats Suisses, Chuck’s Deli, and the well-known Japanese whisky bar, Lit and Mr. KC Queyquep representing Remy-Cointreau.
The Grand Winner of La Maison Cointreau cocktail competition will be awarded a cash prize of PHP 50,000, including a trip to Phuket, Thailand to represent the Philippines and compete in the regional finals of La Maison Cointreau.
The Winning Cocktail:
Gossip by Cedric Cello
Muse: Marion Catillard
Cointreau 30ml; Greygoose L’ Orange 30ml; Basil leaves-3sprigs;
Green mango-30ml; Watermelon-100gms; Giffard watermelon syrup-20ml;
A dash of Angustura bitters; serve in dbl rock glass
Garnish: basil green mango and watermelon
Muddle 1 slice of fresh watermelon in a dbl rockglass. Add in the mix and shake vigorously, then add some ice. Garnish with basil, green mango and watermelon