L/R Mac Lee, President Bartenders and Sommeliers, Singapore, Andrew O' Gorman,, President, Bartenders Association of Ireland presenting personalised bottles of Tyrconnell Whiskey, Derrick Lee, President, International Bartenders Association, Declan Byrne, Treasurer, Bartenders Association of Ireland.

World Cocktail Competitions – Singapore, November, 2010

Andrew O’ Gorman, President of the Bartenders Association of Ireland & Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers

Andrew O' Gorman, President Bartenders Association of Ireland

As President of the Bartenders Association of Ireland, it was a great honour to attend the 59th International Bartenders Association Congress and World Cocktail Competition in classic and flair style bartending in Singapore during November, 2010. The Bartenders Association of Ireland was represented at this, the world’s biggest International cocktail competition, by two very talented Irish bartenders Mr. Martin Meade and Mr. Christopher Hennessy.

In the classic competition was Martin Meade, Schoolhouse Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Martin won the Irish National Cocktail Competition sponsored by Edward Dillon and Co. Ltd in March 2010. His cocktail was called ‘Pearfection’ and consisted of  5cl Bombay Sapphire Gin, 2cl Giffard Pear Liqueur, 1cl Caraibos Apple Juice, 1.5cl Fresh Lemon Juice, 3 Coriander Leaf, 3 chunks of fresh pear.  Served in a martini glass and garnished with a pear fan and citrus zest.

Competition was intense with 55 countries competing and while Martin had an excellent performance, he didn’t qualify for the final. The winner of this competition was from Austria, with Greece and Bulgaria placed second and third.

Our flairtending competitor was Christopher Hennessey from Biddy Early’s Bar, Kilkenny. This was Chris’s second year running to represent Ireland at this competition. He gave a great exhibition of flairtending and his cocktail was called ‘Raspberry Ripple’ and consisted of 3cl Bacardi Superior, 1cl Mozart Amade ChocOrange, 1cl Finest Call Raspberry Puree, 3cl Caraibos Pomegrante Juice, 1cl Monin Passionfruit Syrup, 1cl Fresh Lime Juice, 0.5 Vanilla Pod. Garnished with an apple fan and a raspberry.                                                               The winner of this competition was from Uruguay, with Venezuela and Taiwan in second and third place.

Andrew O’ Gorman, Declan Byrne and Martin Meade attended the IBA Annual General Meeting where various topics pertaining to the bartending profession were debated and discussed.

Various drinks companies held seminars throughout the week and all the Irish delegation attended these.

As global wealth shifts eastwards new growing markets for the beverage manufacturers are more likely to emerge from Asia, Middle East and South America rather than the USA or Europe.

Where it was previously commercial strategy in developing a global brand to get a good foothold in the US market is now changing rapidly and global brands are seeking to be number one in Asia.

Irish business leaders in Singapore see a silver lining in the financial crisis that is causing much panic in Ireland’s debt-laden banking system. The President of the Irish Chamber of Commerce Singapore stated Ireland is an export orientated economy so the falling Euro has benefited us quiet a bit”. Irish building and engineering firm PM Group said that business is brisk and growing. It will be opening a new office in Shanghai and has won big projects in Asian countries such as India, Indonesia and Singapore. There is an Irish community of about 2,000 in Singapore.

Ireland through the Bartenders Association of Ireland has a competitor each year at the world cocktail competitions putting their skills to the test on the global stage. This year’s competition had bartenders from across the planet competing for top honours.

As this is my first year representing Ireland as President of our National Bartenders Guild I made a special presentation of personalized bottles of Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey to Mr. Derrick Lee – President, International Bartenders Association; Mr. Mac Lee, President, Association of Bartenders and Sommeliers Singapore and finally Mr. Declan Byrne – Treasurer and hard working member of the Bartenders Association of Ireland.    I wish to thank Mr. John Cashman, Brand Manager, Cooley Distillery Plc for supplying the personalised  bottles of Tyrconnell Whiskey.

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