IBA World Cocktail Championship winner crownedBy Becky Paskin
Greta Grönholm from Finland has won the International Bartenders’ Association’s (IBA) World Cocktail Championship following a gruelling final held in Prague.
Grönholm, who works at family-owned hotel Loimann Seurahuone in Loimaa, was a favourite to win with her imaginative and balanced sparkling cocktail My Green Summer.
Over 60 countries took part in the annual competition with the regional winners from each of the IBA bartending guilds around the world competing for the illustrious title.
Each country brought with them two bartenders: one classic and one flairtender. The classic bartenders each entered one of five categories: Before Dinner, Sparkling Cocktail, Fancy Cocktail, Long Drink and After Dinner, with the specialist flairtenders entering only the Flairtending category.
The winner of each respective category – which this year featured an unprecedented four women – then faced a head-to-head competition in the grand final.
The winners of the individual rounds were Naomi Takahashi from Japan for Before Dinner; Deirdre Byrne from Ireland for Fancy Cocktail; Gkovatsos Panagiotis from Greece for Long Drink; Irina Stefanidi from Cyprus for After Dinner; and Marek Posluszny from Poland for Flairtending.
After another round of tasting and technical scoring, Grönholm’s cocktail was named the winner for its ”balance, fruity flavours and style”.
“It was a well-balanced cocktail with a fragrant aroma, but the most important thing is its easily accepted by the consumer rather than just by the professional,” said Derek Lee, president of the IBA and final judge.
Grönholm wins a trip to the 2014 IBA WCC final in South Africa plus an additional prize of a trip to Moscow on behalf of the Russian Bartending Guild.