James Irvine from Sydney’s The Baxter Inn has taken out the national final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge.
Irvine competed against five of Australia’s best bartenders to take out the national final, winning a $10,000 cash prize, the title of Australian Angostura Brand Ambassador and a position in the global final which will be held in Trinidad.
Regarded as one of the toughest competitions in the bartending circuit, the Challenge attracts numerous contestants each year. Irvine said that he was thrilled to take out the national title, adding that competitions such as the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge provide bartenders with the perfect platform to showcase their skills and creativity.
“I am honestly blown away. The competition was stiff and everyone that took part was a serious contender. Being an ambassador for Angostura is [an] amazing opportunity and is a career aspiration of mine. It will be an honour to represent such an iconic brand,” says Irvine.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Trinidad to compete in the global final. It would be incredible to see Australia take out back to back global finals.”
The global finals will be held during Carnival in Trinidad early next year where Irvine will compete for a further $10,000 cash prize and the title of Angostura Global Brand Ambassador.
“This year was all about finding the best of the best to compete. Australia is the current global champion. We are the country to beat so it was vital we found a bartender worthy of representing our country in the global finals in Trinidad next year,” commented Brittany Page of island2island, one of the four judges of the national final.
“Although all five competitors were extremely talented and performed admirably last night, James stood out by the quality of his drinks and a very polished presentation. He will certainly give the other contestants a run for their money at the global finals.”
Second place was awarded to Alex Boon from Jahh Tiger, Brisbane, and third went to Joe Sinagra of Perth’s Bobeche.
Irvine’s winning drinks:
Rum category: Mr Trinidad
- 45ml Angostuna 1824
- 45ml fresh blood orange juice
- 15ml Amaro Montenegro
- 10ml fresh lime juice
- 5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, fill ¾ full with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled and smoked tiki mug and garnish with a dehydrated blood orange wheel and smoking embers.
Garnish: smoked tiki mug, dehydrated blood orange wheel with smoking embers and mix matched candy straws.
Freestyle category: Toco Beach
- 60ml lightly brewed green tea, chilled
- 50ml Angostura Reserva
- 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 20ml Falernum
- 5ml Angostura orange bitters
Place all ingredients into a chilled stemless wine glass and garnish with nasturtium flowers and mist salt water across the drink.
Garnish: saltwater mist and nasturtium flower centered.
Irvine's winning cocktails.