A Delhi-based mixologist has emerged as the winner of the inaugural edition of the North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship held in the Capital.
Vikram KU from Blue Bar at Taj Palace Hotel, who crafted an impressive recipe, 'The Amazing Grace' out of walnut and fig infused Woodford Reserve, spice syrup, homemade spice bitters and homemade lemon bitter, has been awarded an opportunity to go on a guided tour to the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee and the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky.
"I am thrilled to win such a prestigious competition and am really looking forward to visit the Jack Daniel's and Woodford Reserve distilleries for a glimpse into the making of these fine whiskeys. "I have really worked hard and put in a lot of effort in creating my recipe, which is inspired from the inherent flavors of Woodford Reserve complemented by local Indian spices," Vikram said.
The championship involved a multi-stage selection process. In the first round, over 230 bartenders from across the country battled it out with their original cocktail recipes using Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack or Jack Daniel's Single Barrel.
The qualifying recipes were judged on the basis of creativity, balance, presentation and consumer acceptance. Vikram was selected from a shortlist of 15 participants in the final round during which the participants presented their cocktails live in front of a four member jury.
"As more and more Indians travel the world, they are seeking experiences which are authentic and have a legacy of craftsmanship. The increasing availability of whiskey based cocktails in popular bars in urban centres and key metros are bringing this experience closer to the consumer than ever before," Vineet Agrawal, head of marketing, India Subcontinent and Maldives, Brown-Forman Worldwide LLC, said. Agrawal was also one of the judges on the panel.
"The jury was impressed with the creativity demonstrated by the participants and the innovative presentation techniques on display. The talent showcased promises a great future for the cocktail culture in India. While it wasn't an easy task to pick the winner, Vikram was the deserving winner of the first North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship," he said.