Latvia enters the International Cocktail Competition

  • 2000-04-27
  • By Antra Linarte
RIGA - Tossing bottles and glasses with ice cubes flying, plenty of loud music and spectators clapping away - all that happened at the musical center Vernisaza on April 27 in Riga.

Latvian Bartenders Association organized their first bartender championship to choose the best bartenders to represent Latvia at the International Cocktail Competition in Singapore in November.

These competitions have been held throughout the world already since 1955, but only last year Latvian Bartenders Association became a member of International Bartenders Association, and from now on, elimination contests for the international contest are going to take place every year.

"The main aim of our association is to elevate the culture of alcoholic drink use and Latvia has one of the lowest standards," said Svetlana Kudrjavceva president of the local association.

The Latvian championship was organized following the rules of the international organization.

To participate contestants had to be members of the association. Six months ago they were provided with information and video tapes, so they would know the requirements of the contest.

Fifty bartenders applied for the contest and 20, including two women, were chosen to take part.

A jury chosen from spectators judged the contestants on their techniques and tasted the cocktails.

" Cocktails made by contestants the jury had to compare to standard samples prepared beforehand. The main criterion was the cocktail's color, taste and smell," explained Svetlana Kudrjaceva.

Krists Polakovs from Park Hotel Ridzene and Janis Ratnieks from night club Nautilus proved to be the best in the freestyle category. The crowd thriller wild man Janis Ratnieks earned second place due to an injury in the last minutes of the contest. Winner of freestyle cocktails was Krists Polakovs, concoction Empty Bols Sunrise, containing fruit juices, Campari, sherry, vodka and rum.

The best performance in classic cocktails showed Andrejs Senins from night club Pepsi Forums stirring up Red Sun, but the best techniques showed Bruno Ivzans from the bar Paldies Dievam, piektdiena ir klat (Thank God It's Friday).

Both Krists Polakovs and Andrejs Senins for the first time in the history of Latvia are going to show Latvia's bartender professionalism at the International Cocktail Competition in Singapore.