This March, I had the chance to cover the Calvados Nouvelle Vogue International
Trophies in Caen, France, courtesy of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild . A 3 day trip that not only included the final of the 20th edition of the international cocktail competition, but also a chance to visit the Calvados Christian Droin distillery!
The Calvados Nouvelle Vogue International Trophies competition brought together 14 nations from across Europe – Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, with 3 finals to be contested.
Hosted at Le Cargö in Caen, the International Professional Bartender Trophy saw the winners of their respective country finals compete on stage to impress the judging panel, which included the likes of Chris Moore, ex Bar Manager of The Beaufort Bar in The Savoy, London. Having to use the inspiration of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings, Brita Kikas of Maasikas in Tartu, Estonia came out on top, with her creation ‘Cheers to the Bastards!’. Combining Calvados, apple juice, fresh ginger, Mandarino Mandarin, Chai Latte and fresh cream, Brita mentioned afterwards that “my cocktail is perfect for William he Conqueror because it’s the one he would drink with his mom. The reason is, that his wife didn’t love him.* So the one and only beloved female in his life was his mom. That’s why the cocktail is a bit femine but still has a manly touch in it.
In second place came Fabian Van Roy of Waterloo in Bruxelles, Belgium, with third place going to Alain Gabriel of the Cyclamen in Le Havre, France.
The International Bartending Students Trophy saw the top students from each country battling it out after months of preparation with their teacher, again to impress the elite judging panel. It was Ekaterina Riakhovskaia of Orenburg Catering College, Russia who shone the brightest with her creation ‘Triumph’ which saw Calvados, peach liqueur , lime juice, mango syrup and egg white coming together. Ekatarina mentioned that “the battle of Hastings became the decisive moment of the Norman conquest of England. My cocktail represents a mix of carelessness, simplicity, comfort and power.”.
In second place came Eden Myohanen of Finland, with third going to Karina Tamm of Estonia.
Finally, yours truly entered the International Journalists Trophy! Although not placing in the top 3, instead Kristjan Markii of Estonia’s Köök Magazine came out on top with his creation ‘Good Will’. This saw Calvados, elderflower liquor, Mandarin pyre, orange bitter, Oriental apple ice tea and cinnamon dust combine. Kritjan mentioned that he had “a mix of French courage, known as Calvados, a little help of gunpowder, known as cinnamon, herbal liquors and bitters, for our good health, and blended with tea, to unite cultural traditions from France and England”.
In second place came Jessy Eeckels of Belgium, and third place came Leslaw Dumanski of Poland.
It’s nice to note also that Estonia blew away the podium, gaining First Prize for the International Professional Bartenders Trophy, third Prize for the International Bartending
Students Trophy and last but not least, first Prize for the International Journalists Trophy! The growth of Calvados being embraced by the likes of Estonia and Russia has seen some great ideas formed in the way to enjoy Calvados, meaning that it truly became quite an unknown final in working out a clear pre-winner!
There were two special awards handed out, with Inguss Reizenbergs of Latvia being recognised for his recipe named ‘The Conquerer’. Awarded by the Normandy Region,
it was given by Clothilde Eudier, the Normandie Regional Council vice-chairman. The IDAC hopes that this cocktail will be poured during the many 950th anniversary ceremonies… which represent more than 200 events expected this year in Normandy.
Also, a mystery box round was held for all the professional bartenders from each country, with a task of creating a cocktail using any of the ingredients inside. All bartenders had the same within, so it was really about the flavour understanding and quick-thinking, something that Christian Vikman of Norway took full advantage of as he impressed the waiting judges with high marks!
With the 21st edition scheduled for next year, it will be very interesting to see who shines on stage, and if Estonia can keep up the pressure on the likes of France, Belgium and the UK!
Want to try some of the winning creations?
Cheers to the Bastards! by Brita Kikas of Maasikas in Tartu, Estonia
. 2,5 cl Calvados
. 1,5 cl Apple juice
. 2 Slices of fresh ginger
. 1,25 cl Mandarino Mandarin
. 1 Barspoon spices of Chai Latte
. 1,5 cl Fresh cream
Shake all ingredients together.
Triumph by Ekaterina Riakhovskaia of Orenburg Catering College, Russia
. 4 cl Calvados
. 1,5 cl Peach liqueur
. 1,5 cl Lime juice
. 1,5 cl Mango syrup
. 1 Egg white
Shake all ingredients together.
Good Will by Kristjan Markii of Estonia’s Köök Magazine
. 4 cl Calvados
. 1 cl Elderflower liquor
. 1 cl Mandarin pyre
. 0,03 cl Orange bitter
. 2 cl Oriental apple ice tea
. Cinnamon dust
Stir all ingredients together.
* Brita Kikas personal historical interpretation
All photos by Virginie Meigné
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.