Just recently, I was able to attend the La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition held at the incredible “Le Jardin” restaurant right in the heart of BGC.
It was the most anticipated event of that particular evening. And rightfully so. Just imagine, the best mixologists in the metro will “mix it up” (pun intended) with fellow skilled contemporaries using Cointreau, the French orange spirit brand established in France (Loire Valley) over 165 years ago, in what could arguably be the best French restaurant around.
La Maison Cointreau
The La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition brings together Manila’s most visionary mixologists to create, wow and inspire with Cointreau, the original and premium triple-sec. 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 be ‘Cointreauversial’ and explore limitless cocktail variations using Cointreau, the heart of cocktails. As an exclusive, by-invitation only competition, La Maison Cointreau sought out the best in innovative talents Manila’s cocktail scene has to offer by scoping the metropolitan’s most renowned bars. Mixologists from some of the most well regarded bars in the capital will go head to head, showcasing their skill and creativity with Cointreau as the heart of each of their concoctions.
I hardly drink… but hey, how could I pass up on an event like this.
True enough, when I got to Le Jardin, anyone who’s anyone, as well as notable personalities in high society and in their respective fields were present to witness (and experience) this awesome face-off.
Hosted by Ms. Tessa Prieto-Valdes, the La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition kicked off in incredible fashion. 11 eager mixologists from the top bars and establishments in and around the metropolis went at it one after the other. Not only did they have to demonstrate their skills in concocting both classic and original cocktails, they also had to have the gift of gab. Skills and showmanship was what each one of these competition hopefuls needed to have in order to win the coveted title.
The 10 competing mixologists were:
- Aldrin Ivan P. Ancheta – The Curator Nightlife Café & Lounge
- Lovi A. Ting-le – Speakeasy Tapas Bar & Resto Café
- Mark Anthony B. Marquez – Vask Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine
- Ryan O. Rodriguez – VU’s Skybar & Lounge, Marco Polo Ortigas
- Christian Earl David S. Asiddao – Longbar, Raffles Hotel
- Christopher Jorge B. Olayvar – Finders Keepers
- Jerry P. Miranda – Prive Luxury Club
- Cristopher R. Bayon – Black Sheep
- Reymond G. De Jesus – Makati Shangri-la Manila
- Albert S. Ladia – Le Jardin
The entire venue was packed. Everyone was interested to see what each mixologist could bring to the table. The competing mixologists were tasked to prepare 2 cocktails:
- The “Respect Challenge” which requires mixologists to create an iconic cocktail that demonstrated elegance and displayed technique and respect for Cointreau’s rich heritage.
- The second is the “Create Challenge” which pushes the mixologists to explore and be ‘Cointreauversial’ by crafting a masterpiece that truly exhibits the avant-garde spirit.
It was pretty evident that people were absolutely enjoying every cocktail drink these mixologists were concocting. An abundance of drinks were being passed around the venue and everyone had their fill. More, actually.
Choosing the winner for the first-ever La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition is based on the best overall score on the two challenges and rated with the following criteria – flavor, aroma, presentation, techniques and use of Cointreau.
Both challenges of the La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition were presided by a professional judging panel comprised of Ms. Elisabeth Tona – Marketing Director of Rémy Cointreau International SEAMI, Lee Watson – leading Beverage Consultant and JR Isaac – Philippine Star contributor & Editor-in-chief, Circuit Magazine.
After countless rounds of drinks and laughter, it was time to reveal the winner of the 1st ever La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition Philippine Edition. After careful tasting and tabulating the scores, a deserving winner was chosen.
Congratulations to Christian “Rian” Earl David S. Asiddao of Long Bar, Raffles Hotel! His cocktails won the hearts of not only the judges but the guests as well. Truly well deserved. As the Grand Winner of the La Maison Cointreau cocktail competition, Christian takes home prizes worth P 80,000, including a trip to Bangkok to represent the Philippines and compete in the regional finals. Good luck, buddy!
It was truly a pleasure to witness (and be a part of) the La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition Philippine Edition. May this be the first of countless exciting Cointreau cocktail competitions in the future.
Truly, this 1st ever La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition is a testament to how skilled and creative our local mixologists are. May this competition serve to introduce superb Filipino talent throughout the world.
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.
Uniquely, Cointreau is more than a liqueur, its orange fragrance reveals the true soul of a delicious cocktail, an enticing taste of Parisian art de vivre: authentic, elegant and always avant-garde.
Visit the Cointreau Philippines Facebook Page.
Le Jardin is touted as one of the metro’s best-kept secrets. Quietly placed at the Penthouse of the W Building at the Fort, a peek into Le Jardin Manila transports you to a place of French elegance and charm, where fine fare is served in an ambiance that does not intimidate, but only impresses with its too-good-to-be-true tastes.