A few weeks ago, approximately 60 bartenders from all over the world assembled in Cape Town, South Africa for the 2014 World Cocktail Championship. Hosted by the International Bartenders’ Association (IBA), the annual competition falls across 6 main cocktail categories: Before Dinner, Fancy, Sparkling, Long Drink, After Dinner and Flairtending, with winners of each individual round going through to the Super Final.
After the week-long contest, Jana Karkusova—a hospitality teacher for 15-18 year olds in the Slovak Republic—was named the World Cocktail champion. After winning the Fancy cocktail category, where each competitor is marked on his/her cocktail’s appearance, aroma, taste and overall impression, Karkusova moved up to the Super Final round. It was there that she, and her contending Geisha cocktail, received the grand prize over many other contestants.
As the second consecutive time a female bartender won the title, after Greta Gronholm from Finland was crowned in 2013, Karkusova claims she came to the competition “not expecting to win, but hoping.” Still, when they announced Karkusova’s name as the winner, she couldn’t contain her excitement, especially because all of her school students were present to watch her accept the award.
Jana Karkusova’s Geisha cocktail was inspired by, as Karkusova states, “what it is to be a woman.” That resonates pretty well with us, but the drink’s recipe sounds even more intriguing. To make this champion cocktail of your own, you’ll need:
- 1 oz. Havana Club Rum
- ½ oz. Lychee Liqueur
- ½ oz. Almond syrup
- 1/3 oz. Toffee Nut syrup
- 1 1/3 oz. Cranberry Juice
- 1/3 oz. fresh lime juice
- fresh apple, cantaloupe, lime, mango and radish slices (optional; only a few each)
- couple sprigs of mint
Shake and strain into glass filled with ice. Garnish with apple, cantaloupe melon, lime, mango, radish and mint.