Whenever we hear about the launch of yet another cocktail competition, we always ask one question: why? What’s different about it? How will it progress the industry? How does it benefit the consumer? In short, why should anyone – bartenders, journalists, the drinks world in general – care? The answer isn’t always as positive as the brand in question would hope.
Not so The Interesting Narrative Cocktail Competition from The Equiano Rum Co. As well as shining a light on an incredible product, said competition tasks bartenders and consumers with discovering more about the man who inspired its creation. And what a man he was.
Born in 1745, Nigerian-born Olaudah Equiano was a former slave, freedom fighter, visionary, writer and speaker who paved his way to liberation through selling rum. And the spirit that bears his name is every bit as bold and quite frankly, brilliant as the man himself. Blending two cultures, two distilleries and two continents, it’s more than another liquid in a bottle, it’s the world’s first premium African and Caribbean rum.
What’s the story?
It’s up to you to decide which part of this fascinating story you wish to shine a light on. Contestants are invited to create an original Equiano rum-based cocktail inspired by Africa or the Caribbean. How you interpret that is up to you. It might be in the name of your drink, your choice of ingredients, or even the method in which you choose to make it. Alternatively, you could take your cues from the life and times of Olaudah Equiano himself, or perhaps devise a drink that takes in a combination of both – like we said, it’s up to you, don’t hold back!
Initially, you’ll be asked to submit your recipe online, together with a photo of the drink (see details below). Then the entries will be whittled down to five finalists who will present their cocktails in front of a panel of judges – IRL in London if possible, or virtually if not (TBC).
And, get this: all five finalists receive a cash prize, ranging from £2,000 for the winner, through to £250 for fifth place. In addition, the winner will receive a year’s supply of Equiano Rum and their cocktail will be listed in some of the world’s best bars and featured in The Equiano Cocktail Book to be published this year. Oh, and let’s not forget the bragging rights…
Spirited consumers are invited to get in on the act too. Are you proud of the cocktail-making skills that you’ve acquired during lockdown? Have you discovered that you’re a whizz with the shaker, or can give Jamie Oliver a run for his money when it comes to combining new and interesting flavours? This is your chance to show the world that you really know what’s-what when it comes to mixing things up.
Simply submit your recipe and a photo as your drink following the criteria above. If you’re the lucky winner, you’ll be rewarded with a night out with 20 of your friends in a top notch bar, wherever you are in the world. On the menu? Your winning cocktail of course!
Need to know
The Interesting Narrative Cocktail Competition is open to both bartenders and hometenders.
Contestants can use either Equiano Original or Equiano Light in their recipe.
Winners in both bartender and hometender categories will be based on:
- the inspiration for the drink
- the name of the drink
- the replicability of the drink
- the originality of recipe
- the African/Caribbean connection
Entry is now open, closing 30th April at 00:00 GMT
The hometender winner and the five bartender finalists will be announced in May 2022
The Bartenders Final will take place in London on 13th June 2022, judged by Ian Burrell, Equiano Rum co-founder and Global Rum Ambassador; Ago Perrone, Director of Mixology at the Connaught Bar; Monica Berg, co-founder Tayer + Elementary, Sly Augustin, owner of Trailer Happiness and Sandrae Lawrence, co-founder of The Cocktail Lover. The event will also being streamed online.