It’s quite likely that many of the bartenders entering The Giffard West Cup Cocktail Competition this year won’t even have been born when the contest first launched. Admittedly, when it started back in 1997, it was very much a local affair, something the cocktail makers and shakers in and around Angers in the West Coast of France embraced wholeheartedly. But like we said, that was quarter of a century ago. Fast forward to the present day and it’s become quite the draw, attracting major talent from 18 countries around the globe.
How’s this for impressive – the last time Giffard hosted the competition in 2019, close to 800 entries were received. Now, after the past few years of lockdowns, travel and general life restrictions, it’s back and is set to be bigger and better than ever.
The lowdown on The Giffard West Cup Cocktail Competition 2022:
Like all cocktail competitions, it’s essentially about hero-ing the products in the brand’s portfolio by creating a damned tasty drink. Not exactly a hardship when you consider the range of products Giffard has to offer. From Apricot du Roussillon to Vanilla de Madagascar in the Premium Range and Blue Curaçao to Green Melon from the Classics, there are no shortage of first-class liqueurs to get your creative juices flowing.
Your choice will be no doubt be determined by the theme of the comp. This year it’s ‘Listen to the Flavours’, as in create an original cocktail exploring the strong link between bartending and music. The musical genre doesn’t matter but your ability to conduct a symphony of flavours in a glass does. Ditto the story that links your drink and your selected track. The other important thing to bear in mind is that Giffard liqueurs must represent at least 50% of the total alcoholic volume of your cocktail – that’s no less than 20ml of either one or a combo of liqueurs.
To enter, you’ll need to describe your cocktail and specs, upload an Insta-ready photograph of your serve and keep those fingers crossed!
The shortlisted bartenders will be invited to take part in the national finals running from March to June depending on the region (dates tbc).
The 18 clever winners from UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Norway, Croatia, Greece, Czech Republic, USA, Canada, Asia Pacific, Australia, Japan, Russia and Morocco will meet up in Paris from 25-28 September for a take over of the Giffard booth in the Cocktail Street at Whisky Live. Then it’s over to Angers in the gorgeous Loire Valley where they’ll be hosted at the first Giffard Distillery, built by Emile Giffard in 1890, now home to the Angers School of Fine Art.
This is where they’ll get to show off their music-inspired drink to a panel of esteemed judges from around the world. There’s a second round too, all will be revealed nearer the time but here’s a little clue: it will be based around Menthe-Pastille, the fresh-tasting, crystal clear, mint liqueur which made its debut in 1885 and continues to be a best-seller today.
The overall winner bags a tour of three guest shifts at bars in the country of their choosing, selected from a list provided by Giffard. What’s not to like about that?
For more details and to enter, visit Mangrove | Giffard West Cup – Entry Form
Deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday 10th April (UK only). See your specific region for dates and entry forms.