SB Voices: IBA WCC 2017 returns to Copenhagen
Nicola Carruthers reflects on this year’s IBA World Cocktail Championships and commends the opportunities it provides for bartenders around the world.
Bartenders from 65 countries travelled to Copenhagen this week to compete in the year’s biggest cocktail event – the 2017 IBA World Cocktail Championships (WCC).
This year’s WCC, hosted by the Danish Bartenders Association, departed from its usual format by taking place at one of the city’s largest exhibition halls, Øksnehallen.
Along with more than 1,000 industry leaders, including bartenders, brand representatives and journalists, I travelled to the Danish city to cover some of the biggest movers and shakers in the bar world.
Now in its 66th year, the WCC has focused its energy on changing the format to make it more widely available to the outside world. This year marked the first time that the competition had a live stream, allowing every single round to be broadcasted online on Facebook and Youtube, along with a total of 41 mini masterclasses from brands such as Havana Club and Suntory.
As a newcomer to the WCC, I had the delight of watching the rounds amongst a plethora of bartenders around the world who demonstrated great skill, passion, and enthusiasm.
The competition kicked off in style with the WCC Flairtending Competition, where 45 quick-fingered bartenders attempted to shimmy and shake their way to glory. All bartenders had five minutes to complete their routines, assessed by one panel of technical judges on stage and a separate panel of judges backstage who focused on the quality of the drink itself.
Along with the Flairtending Final, bartenders also went head-to-head in five other Classic Mixing competitions including Before Dinner, Sparkling Cocktail, Bartender’s Choice, Long Drink, and After Dinner.
The event alone provides huge opportunities for bartenders, brands and delegates to socialise, as well as meet new acquaintances, and learn about the latest developments in the global bar industry. Danish alcohol brands and sponsors also held their own stands, allowing visitors to sample their products and learn about the brand and the latest trends.
The event also presented a new president, with the vice president of Europe, Pepe Dioni, taking over from Ron Busman. We wish Ron all the best in the future and look forward to seeing how the the IBA WCC will develop over the next three years.
Once again congratulations to this year’s WCC 2017 champion Mario Hofferer, I look forward to seeing what’s in store for both Hofferer and the next WCC, set to place in Estonia.