World Class Gin Month

Following on from last month’s vodka category, the World Class team have been training bartenders all over the country on Gin, specifically Tanqueray and Tanqueray 10.

The Barcode team once again had the opportunity to judge the World Class entries for the Durban regional rounds at the Barcode Academy with Brandhouse Mixologist Alex Farnell. Gin being a personal favourite of mine, this was no hardship and we were looking forward to seeing how the World Class venues had progressed!

The first thing we noticed was that the standard of drinks had jumped dramatically from last month’s competition! While there were slightly fewer entries, those that did enter had obviously been doing their homework and were crafting drinks with plenty of thought to balance and working with appropriate flavour combinations.

We tasted some really great drinks and the continually improving standard of some of these bars and bartenders is really encouraging.

In the end however, the drink that impressed us the most with its truly original combination of flavours belonged to Selvan Govender of the Oyster Box hotel.

Selvan is a long time bartender at the Oyster box and first impressed me more than a year ago when Barcode ran a cocktail training program with the hotel. He seems to specialise in unique flavour combinations and unusual (for South Africa at least) ingredients surprising myself and the other judges of the 2010 Oyster Box bartender of the year competition with an amazingly complex sherry cocktail!

For the World Class program he combined Tanqueray 10 with Malibu and Pernod – A very counter-intuitive combination and one that most bartenders would probably laugh out loud at! Selvan somehow managed to make this combination work however and the result was a very complex, surprising and unique cocktail that showed an excellent understanding of balance and flavour.

Well done Selvan!

Fantasy Island
40ml Tanqueray 10
5ml Pernod
15ml Malibu
30ml Fresh Orange Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup
Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker
Shake Well
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Below you will see a selection of the cocktails judged.

All photos by Ryan Duvenage

About Ryan Duvenage

Ryan is an award-winning bartender, trainer and consultant for the Barcode Bar Academy and an enthusiastic ambassador of good drinks. His areas of interests include classic cocktails, cocktail history, wine, spirits and beer. Occasionally coffee too but only at a civilised hour...he is not interested in early mornings. Other interests include guitar, music, books, bodyboarding and travel. He regularly writes about drinks, bars and cocktail culture for several blogs and websites and has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers including Mudl Magazine, The Independent on Saturday, SA Chef!, Food and Home and Men’s Health as well as being featured on several television shows.
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