Slovakian lady named world’s best bartender

3rd October, 2014 by Becky Paskin

A female bartender from the Slovak Republic has been named the 2014 International Bartenders’ Association (IBA) World Cocktail Champion at a global final held in Cape Town this week.

Jana Karkusova

Jana Karkusova has won the International Bartenders’ Association (IBA) World Cocktail Championship

Jana Karkusova, a hospitality teacher for 15-18-year-olds, was awarded the grand prize after a week-long competition held in the South African capital, against around 60 other bartenders from around the world.

It is the second consecutive time a female bartender has won the title, after Greta Gronholm from Finland was crowned winner in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2013.

Her drink, Geisha, which was entered into the Fancy Cocktail round, was inspired by “what it is to be a woman”, and was comprised of Havana Club rum, lychee liqueur, almond syrup, toffee nut syrup, cranberry juice and lime juice.

Karkusova, who appeared at the World Cocktail Championship for the first time, after “many years” of competing for the Slovak Republic place, said: “I came here not expecting to win, but hoping. Then, when my name was called, it was like a heavy stone fell from my heart and I couldn’t believe it. There was a lot of pressure because all of my students at school were behind me.”

Around 60 bartenders from across the world competed in the annual competition across six main categories: Before Dinner, Sparkling, Fancy, Long Drink, After Dinner and Flairtending, with the winner of each round going through to the Super Final.

The winners of the other rounds in the competition were: Before Dinner: Wojciech Urbanski, Poland; Sparkling: Krista Meri, Estonia; Fancy: Jana Karkusova, Slovak Republic; Long Drink: Younjung Oh, Korea; After Dinner: Jimmy Jepsen Baek, Denmark; Flairtending: Leonardo Galvez, Spain.

All the IBA guild presidents took it in turns to judge each round, although no-one analysed their own country to avoid conflict of interest. Each competitor was marked on his/her cocktail’s appearance, aroma, taste and overall impression.

The judges for the super final were: Derek Lee, president, IBA; Becky Paskin, editor, The Spirits Business; Hitesh Punchal, F&B manager, CTICC, Jurgen Falcke, advisor, IBA Board, Chadresh Singh, deputy general manager at the Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel, Cape Town; and Grant McDonald, of Mudl magazine.

Karkusova wins an opportunity to experience the IBA World Cocktail Championship 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Jana Karkusova’s Geisha
30ml Havana Club Anejo 3 ans
20ml Monin Lychee Liqueur
20ml Monin Almond
10ml Monin Toffee Nut
40ml Cranberry Juice
10ml Lime juice, fresh
Method: Shake and strain into a rocks glass, garnish with apple, cantaloupe melon , lime, mango, radish and mint.

One Response to “Slovakian lady named world’s best bartender”

  1. I love her use of different Monin flavours, especially Monin toffee nut, I love it!

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