Highlights from the Asia Pacific Bartender of the Year Cocktail competition
The finals of the Asia Pacific Bartender of the Year Cocktail Competition, presented by the Singapore Hotel Association and organised by the Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore (ABSS), took place at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium on 31 August. The competition was held in conjunction with the Elite Bartenders Course-JWC Asia 2017, run by the International Bartenders Association (IBA) and the ABSS.
During the evening, 10 finalists, who had been shortlisted from 17 contestants from 11 countries, strutted their stuff. In the creative cocktail segment, six finalists from Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong presented their cocktails which had to be made only with ingredients from the sponsors' product list. Sayo Toyotawa from Japan emerged the winner with her Seaside Angel cocktail made with SKYY vodka, Bols elderflower liqueur, Monin pineapple fruit mixer, Monin blue curacao syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
The much-anticipated flairing bartender skills segment came next, with four finalists from Macau, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Japan. The contest got off to a raucous start with last year’s champion, Jonathan Villarma Jr from Macau taking the floor. He juggled and flipped bottles, shakers and glasses with great skill as he prepared his cocktail D’Prisoner, made with elements such as SKYY vodka, Bols peach liqueur and Bols elderflower liqueur.
Sri Lankan contestant Dhanushka Dias and Japanese contender Ryuta Asahara wowed the crowd with their performances as well, but the star of the night was Taiwanese contestant Li Ting-Yan, who emerged the victor with his flair performance. Dressed as the Marvel Comics superhero Deadpool, he was as agile and lithe as the superhero himself, even performing some tricks blindfolded. His winning cocktail was Orange-Charmed, a concoction made of Naked Grouse whisky, Bols dry orange liqueur, Monin amaretto syrup, Monin spicy mango syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Clockwise from topleft Taiwanese Li TingYan, special award winners from the Elite Bartenders Course-JWC Asia 2017 with ABSS Honorary Secretary, David Chan, and Sayo Toyotawa’s Seaside Angel cocktail