The stories of a boy from Bantama and a girl who had to hustle on the streets of Ashaiman, and deferred dreams were the ultimate mix of a cocktail of stories that graced the ears of many.
The Beefeater Cocktails of the Future competition had one simple mission – they sought to bring the best Ghanaian cocktail mixologists, to create a sustainable drink highlighting local ingredients.
Finalists were selected after an initial round on Instagram where they created cocktails using Beefeater – the world’s most awarded Gin, with one local ingredient to enter.
There were two major rounds for the Bartenders to showcase their talents, they were scored on sustainability, brand knowledge, presentation and timekeeping. Pernod Ricard – parent company of Beefeater Gin, trained 90 bartenders on “The Bar World of Tomorrow” in Kumasi and Accra last month, and bartenders were expected to use these learnings about sustainability in their cocktails.
The judges were: Kojo Aidoo of Front/Back, Chris Beanie of No.X, Eunice Osei-Tutu – head of sustainability and responsibility at Pernod Ricard, Chef Emmanuel Mawuli Dansi of the Ghana Food Movement and Georgie Barnard the Beefeater Brand Ambassador for Western Africa.
The first round required speed. The finalists – Seraphine Asladey, Dyna Ukala, Kent Williams, Frank Tano, George Nortey and Napoleon Forson – had five minutes to choose from a range of ingredients and two minutes to produce their cocktail. This round had the crowd very much engaged. The Bondai Secret Garden was bustling with young and energetic people clad in a variety of Afro-urban fashion clothes sipping on free Beefeater cocktails.
The second round was the ultimate decider. Here, contestants were tasked to produce their own cocktails. They were to tell a compelling story behind the production of the cocktail and also show how they are promoting the value of sustainability with their drinks as well.
The winner, winning 10,000ghs and a bottle of Beefeater Burroughs Reserve – George for No. X , captured and had loud cheers from the crowd with how articulate and eloquent he was. His cocktail was called “Nsromma” (star) and embodied sustainability, kept the Beefeater brand at the heart of the drink.. He has been a mixologist for 6 years learning on the job.
First Runner Up, winning 5,000ghs – Seraphine from La Borracha, finished with a bang, with only 3 months experience. Her story about her cocktail made most people emotional. From the streets of Ashaiman, her grandmother woke her up every day at 4 am. She used her past of carrying corn mill and preparing Hausa Koko to choose her sustainable local ingredients. Her cocktail was called “Didula” and she focused on empowering more women to take their places in bartending.
Second Runner Up, winning 3,000ghs – was Frank from Front/Back. In the first round, he commanded a lot of fans who rallied behind him. “I was privileged to get the opportunity from one of the industry players to come and work here and it has been great so far” he narrated with a proud smile. Frank captured the attention of the judges with how he linked the origin of Beefeater Gin to Okomfo Anokye in the second round and he even cut an old Beefeater bottle into a drinking glass.
Beefeater Gin has sustainability in its heart, their new bottle is 100% recyclable, with changes added to reduce plastic waste by 410 tonnes per annum. The distillery is contributing to improving climate change by using 100% renewable energy. So, to promote all these forms of sustainability, the contestants were required to be creative and improvise ways they can help sustain their environment and find alternatives to prevent the wastage of ingredients. Beefeater seeks to bring out the best in the cocktail industry, and the quintessential London Dry Gin excels in cocktails thanks to its big juniper character and strong citrus notes.