The 1st La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition

Top 10 mixologist with host Tessa Prieto Valdez
Cointreau is a triple-sec spirit brand that goes way back over 165 years. They recently had a cocktail competition titled, La Maison Cointreau. The main goal of the competition is to inspire and introduce Cointreau as the avant-garde spirit choice, enabling the most visionary mixologist to create, wow and be inspired with Cointreaus original and premium liqueur.

La Maison Cointreau - Le jardin
How was the screening? Well, it is an exclusive by-invitation only competition. Getting the best innovative talents that Manila has to offer, they ended up with 10 mixologiest from different bars and restos in the metro. Here are the 10 competing mixologists:

• Aldrin Ivan P. Ancheta - The Curator Nightlife Café & Lounge
• Lovi A. Ting-le - Speakeasy Tapas Bar & Resto Café
• Mark Anthony B. Marquez – Vask Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine
• Ryan O. Rodriguez – VU’s Skybar & Lounge, Marco Polo Ortigas
• Christian Earl David S. Asiddao – Longbar, Raffles Hotel
• Christopher Jorge B. Olayvar – Finders Keepers
• Jerry P. Miranda – Prive Luxury Club
• Cristopher R. Bayon – Black Sheep
• Reymond G. De Jesus – Makati Shangri-la Manila
• Albert S. Ladia – Le Jardin

Each of the mixologist was tasked to prepare 2 cocktails. The “Respect Challenge” which requires mixologists to create an iconic cocktail that demonstrated elegance and displayed technique and respect for Cointreau’s rich heritage. The second is the “Create Challenge” which pushes the mixologists to explore and be ‘Cointreauversial’ by crafting a masterpiece that truly exhibits the avant-garde spirit.

Lee Watson, Ms. Elisabeth Tona & JR Isaac
The mixologists went head to head and showcased their skill during the "Respect challenge" and got really creative with the "Create Challenge" Both challenges were presided by a professional judging panel comprised of Ms. Elisabeth Tona - Marketing Director of Rémy Cointreau International SEAMI, Lee Watson - leading Beverage Consultant and JR Isaac - Philippine Star contributor & Editor-in-chief, Circuit Magazine.

The mixologist were judged based on the best overall score on the two challenges and were rated with the following criteria - flavor, aroma, presentation, techniques and use of Cointreau. 

Rian Asiddao took home the grand prize with his Balut creation. Yes. Balut cocktail! He was awarded prizes worth PHP 80,000, including a trip to Bangkok to represent the Philippines and compete in the regional finals. Congratulations to Cointreau for the successful event! and to Rian Asidda for winning and representing our country!

I could just imagine how the judges felt as they were judging the drinks. I was there and man, it was hard! Imagine a total of 20 different cocktail drinks and you need to choose a winner. Now that's awesome. 

 Cointreau was created nearly 165 years ago in Angers, deep in the heart of the Loire Valley, but has always retained a profoundly Parisian and chic soul. Its iconic amber bottle presents the perfect balance between sweet and bitter oranges, a subtle taste uncovering incredible strength of character. Cointreau combined with fresh lemon or lime, is the base for Cointreau Fizz and a whole host of classic cocktails like the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan, the White Lady, or the Sidecar. 

Uniquely, Cointreau is more than a liqueur, its orange fragrance reveals the true soul of a delicious cocktail, an enticing taste of Parisian art de vivre: authentic, elegant and always avant-garde.

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