When the music, mixing, shaking and stirring subsided, Elroy Ferguson of Margaritaville Ocho Rios and Alexa-Rae Clennon of Bars To Go were the last two bartenders standing at the Angostura Mixmaster Jamaica Challenge 2011, which was held at The Deck in New Kingston on October 8. The superior mixing talents of the two winners saw them emerge on top from a field of 10 contestants, and for their efforts, they were each presented with a cheque for US$1,000 and have earned the right to represent Jamaica in the regional finals come Saturday October 29, 2011 in Ocho Rios.
During the challenge, competitors were allowed seven minutes to prepare two cocktails each during an Open (Freestyle) category and a Rum Cocktail category. All bartenders were mandated to include a minimum of five dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters or Orange Bitters in their concoctions. Drinks were scored on appearance, aroma, taste and presentation skills. Ferguson’s cocktails were named “Ango Management” and “Rocky Groove”, while Clennon (popularly referred to as “Alex The Great”) served up the “Sky High” and “Killa Chilla”.
Contestants in the regional finals will vie for a spot in the Global Challenge in February 2012 in Trinidad, where they will for a chance to win the even more attractive US$10,000 prize purse and the coveted title of Angostura Grand Master Champion. Andre Cowan, Marketing Manager for Lascelles – the distributor of Angostura products in Jamaica, explained that the competition was developed to demonstrate the “mix-ability” of Angostura bitters in cocktails.
“Angostura Bitters is defined by its diversity and we seek bartenders who can demonstrate its uses in creating cocktail mixes that have personality and flair. This competition therefore tests the imagination of bartenders to use Angostura as the base ingredient to blend perfect world-class cocktails.”
Known as the taste that flavours the world, Angostura has a long tradition of spicing up cuisines in the Caribbean and internationally. It is a highly concentrated flavouring made from a selection of aromatic herbs and spices which makes it ideal for all culinary purposes.