Gin Mare Med Inspirations reveals 2013 winner

3rd September, 2013 by Becky Paskin

Amanda Boucher of Candelaria in Paris, France, has been named the 2013 winner of the Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspirations competition following a close final held in Ibiza, Spain.

Gin Mare Mediterranean Inspirations Competition

Winner Amanda Boucher, from Candelaria, was joined by members of the Global Premium Brands team for her cheque presentation

Boucher – the only female in the final – was chosen as the winner of the third annual cocktail competition held at the Gin Mare Villa in northern Ibiza for her “simple drinks that embodied fundamental Mediterranean values”.

The competition, which this year saw eight finalists from around the world compete, aims to encourage bartenders to create their “own personal dream and vision of the Mediterranean” through three signature drinks: a Mediterranean Gin & Tonic, a Dirty Mare-tini, and a Mare Nostrum cocktail which must embody at least one of the key values of the Gin Mare brand – lifestyle, gastronomy, climate and escape.

Boucher impressed the judges with her Double Pepper G&T featuring black pepper oil and fresh red bell pepper; her Mez & Mare Dirty Mare-tini featuring Del Maguey Mezcal-rinsed ice and Amontillado Sherry; and her Mare Nostrum Gentiane Mare Smash, a blend of Gin Mare, sorrel and Salers liqueur.

Jorge Balbontin, global brand ambassador for global premium brands, owner of Gin Mare, said: “It was a number of different things that really made Amanda stand out. It’s not overly complicated; what we are looking for is the representation of the Mediterranean throughout the drinks. If you understand what Gin Mare is about then you will be able to represent that in your cocktails. She did it not once, but three times.”

Joining Balbontin on the judging panel were Simon Webster, BarlifeUK; Jim Wrigley, freelance bartender; Jimmy Barrat, Zuma Dubai; and Mario Kappes, Le Lyon in Hamburg.

Boucher, who follows in the footsteps of last year’s winner Adriana Soley of Spain, wins €4,500 and a brand ambassadorial role with Gin Mare in which she will be required to host four events over the coming year.

“I did a lot of research and I realised what they were looking for was very simplistic drinks,” Boucher said. “I understand when you do a competition that you put the product in the forefront and everything you do enhances that product. So I think I won because my drinks were simple, with just enough complexity to make them interesting.”

She added: “I’m surprised, shocked and honoured to be up next to such wonderful bartenders from so many different countries that have such wonderfully developed cocktail scenes. It’s an honour. Every single drink I tried was beautifully balanced and had great, original ideas behind them; you could feel the love in all of the drinks. I’m shocked because I personally think all those guys should be up there next to me. It’s a shame we can’t all win, because every single one of those guys should have won.”

In second place was Luca Vettali of Luca e Andrea in Milan, Italy. He also wins a brand ambassadorial role with Gin Mare and €2,000, and will be required to host two events over the next 12 months.

In third place, winning €1,000 and a brand ambassadorial role for just one event this year, was Juanjo Saber of 41 Degrees in Barcelona, Spain.

The remaining five finalists taking part were Yves Adam Schaffter of Dante in Zurch, Switzerland; Alberto Pires of Mojito Bar Catering, Portugal; James Connolly of Rockpool Bar & Grill in Perth, Australia; Guillermo Delgado of Friesen in Cologne, Germany; and Alistair Reynolds of Hawksmoor in London, UK.

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