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La Maison Cointreau 2016 Cocktail Competition

Shelom Exconde of Exit Bar (Copy)

La Maison Cointreau held an exclusive by-invitation only competition to check out the best mixers in Manila’s cocktail scene at the Belle and Dragon on Carlos Palanca Street, Legaspi Village, Makati.

The contestants were tasked with the featured Cointreau challenge “The Muse’ –- to create a serve based on an iconic French muse that inspires the entrants plus other challenges.

This year’s competition is also a full portfolio competition bringing to fore the family of brands together under the La Maison Cointreau roof. These are Cointreau, Remy Martin cognac, Mount Gay rum, Bruichladdich single malt whisky and The Botanist gin with focus on the unique aspects of each brand to bring new and challenging tasks for the bartenders.

Inspired by Cointreau Privé in Paris, La Maison Cointreau was first launched internationally in New York City, with the aim to introduce Cointreau as the avant-garde & Parisian style spirit that enables mixologists to explore limitless cocktail variations using Cointreau, the heart of cocktails.

The contestant did not know who where the judges until after the competition scores were tallied.

The challenge for each of the finalists would be to serve their original Cointreau based cocktails with outstanding taste & flavor as a paramount criteria and with technique, presentation and consistency as the clincher for a winning cocktail. “It is a real world competition whereby each of the seven bartender finalists prepped over 100 cocktails for the guests to sample and only one hour to serve their respective concoctions. Each bartender will decorate their station as if it’s their own mini bar.  It’s a high volume bar environment which tests their speed, and their ability to engage the crowd,” enthused competition master Lee Watson.

The judges were Cheryl Tiu, editor at large of Lifestyle Asia; Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara of Mesclun, Paulene Chocolats Suisses, Chuck’s Deli, and the well-known Japanese whisky bar, Lit and Mr. KC Queyquep representing Remy-Cointreau.

The Winning Coctail: Gossip by Cedric Cello

Winning cocktail Gossip by Cedric Cello (Copy)

The winning cocktail for 2016’s La Maison Cointreau is Gossip by Cedric Cello of Smith Butcher and Grill Room with his inspiration Muse Marion Cotillard.

The Mix:

Cointreau 30ml; Greygoose L’ Orange 30ml; Basil leaves-3sprigs;
Green mango-30ml; Watermelon-100gms; Giffard watermelon syrup-20ml;
A dash of Angustura bitters; serve in dbl rock glass
Garnish: basil green mango and watermelon

The Procedure:

Muddle 1 slice of fresh watermelon in a dbl rockglass. Add in the mix and shake vigorously, then add some ice.  Garnish with basil, green mango and watermelon

The winner, Cedric Cello, won a cash prize of PHP 50,000, and a trip to Phuket, Thailand to represent the Philippines and compete in the regional finals of La Maison Cointreau.



Click photos to enlarge.

Cointreau was created nearly 165 years ago in Angers, deep in the heart of the Loire Valley, but has always retained a profoundly Parisian and chic soul. Its iconic amber bottle presents the perfect balance between sweet and bitter oranges, a subtle taste uncovering incredible strength of character. Cointreau combined with fresh lemon or lime, is the base for Cointreau Fizz and a whole host of classic cocktails like the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan, the White Lady, or the Sidecar.


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