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The UKBG round of the Calvados Nouvelle cocktail competition was this year held at the typically English Hotel du Vin in Winchester on Thurs 29th February. Many thanks to the hotel and their great staff for all their help.
It was attended by 16 Professional bartenders plus three students which were selected from the eight that competed in London the week before, they were from the Westminster Kingsway Catering College, Victoria, London. The event was sponsored by Marussia Beverages UK Ltd, with Mr Bruce Perry Sales Director, Ms Olivia Plunkett Marketing Manager, Many thanks to them.
Bruce gave a very interesting talk about Calvados and the production of the Calvados.

Key Points from Bruce Perry’s Masterclass

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Don’t judge a spirit by its colour, neither, age or colour equate to beauty, noise and palate those are the key things. Balance is God doesn’t matter how old it is or what colour it is. When a customer asks you for a brandy they are empowered to make a sale and a decision for them, don’t give them the power back. Wishy washy answers like “what kind if brandy do you like? Oh here is the list.” Take control show your knowledge and listen to what they have been up to and make a good decision for them. Quality and quantity will never be equal, you will only have one or the other, never both. So if you are looking at Calvados range, one of the key things to look for are small domains, make sure that like DuPont and Camut that you are offering not just a choice of real quality and point of difference as well. Bruce Perry SALES DIRECTOR MARUSSIA BEVERAGES UK LTD www.marussiabeverages.com Olivia gave out samples of Dupont and Bonneroy Calvados of different ages and styles for the competitors to taste.

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Later Bruce and Olivia were judges of the cocktail the blind tasting section, along with Mr Peter Holland from the Floating Rum Shack website, Peter is a Rum Guru and spirits writer. Also we were delighted to have our National Champion of the UKBG Mr Majiec Urbanski, who will represent us in Bulgaria for the IBA World Cocktail Championships; along with Ms Marie-Anne Saloux from Spirit France, Public Relations who represent Boulard, Piere Magloire and Lecompte Pays d` Auge.
As Technical Judges we had Mr Armand Fasola Former Chairman UKBG Southern area, and Mike Sweetman National Vice President UKBG.
The Competitors were asked to create a cocktail which they could relate to a film clip from a French film, there were five clips to choose from, they were given seven minutes to make and present their creation. There were some very creative drinks, it showed that they had studied the film clips very well.
The Prize for the outright winner is a trip to Deauville in Normandy to be in the Calvados Nouvelle grand finals in March. The Students done very well under their tutor Mr Simon Willson-White who was very supportive and gave them a lot of inspiration. One of the students will also go to Normandy that is Miss Amelia (Millie) Povey, The other Students to make it to Winchester were Nikisha Arolkar, and Michael Taylor, they all made very good drinks considering that they are not bartenders.
Amelia has never entered a cocktail competition before but she even scored higher than a few of the professionals; Amelia’s drink was related with the honey bees that collect the pollen from one apple blossom to the other, she used honey and bee pollen in her drink and in the garnish which was a mini apple with bee pollen on it. The film clip was no three because all the fancy hats that the ladies wore on the beach resembled the apple blossom of the Calvados apples in the Orchard.
The winner of the Professionals was Ms Lucia Montanelli with her creation, “Je Suis 13” it was related to film clip one. Lucia is not a newcomer she has entered many of our comps but never quite got the first place but has reached second many times, always the Bridesmaid but never the bride until this competition where she became a very successful Bride.

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