Bartender to represent UK at Angostura final in Trinidad & Tobago

Simon Dacey Angostura UK

Simon Dacey from London bar Trailer Happiness is preparing to represent the UK against eight other bartenders at the global final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge in Trinidad & Tobago in February.

He was selected after regional heats in the competition which seeks bartenders with passion for their craft and a talent for mixing drinks and engaging with an audience. It covers the Angostura range, from its rum to its bitters and amaro liqueur.

Simon, who has been bartending for only two years, came up with a signature serve called Queen’s Park Hallows. Designed to highlight the base spirit, it enhances the baking spice characteristics of Angostura 7 Year Old Rum by using falernum while the rich fruit character of the column-still rum is highlighted through the use of maraschino and peach. The whole drink is then lifted with Angostura orange bitters to produce a refreshing drink for any time of the day or the year.

Challenged to create an amaro cocktail with Amaro Di Angostura, he created Eye of the Hurricane. Originally taking the backbone of Trader Vic’s classic Fog Cutter as a starting point, it was designed to maintain the tall, refreshing nature of that drink while pushing the fruit character of the rums to centre stage. The tiki character has been maintained in its layering of complex flavours and the sensation of escape from a tropical concoction. See below for both recipes.

He will compete against eight other bartenders, each representing different parts of the world:

Shana Rajahram (Trinidad & Tobago)
Marv Cunningham of Aura Nightclub at Atlantis, The Bahamas (Caribbean)
Chad Lawrence from Black Diamond in Alberta, Canada (North America)
Gustavo Costa from Juiz de Fora in Brazil (Latin America)
Mike Jordhoy of Lulu White in Paris, France (Europe excluding UK)
Rohan Massie of Rude Boy in Hobart, Australia (Oceania)
Vasile Dorofeev of Roberto’s in Dubai (Middle East and Africa)
Agung Satria of Bam Bam in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Asia).

The winner will be named Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) Champion and be given a cash prize of US$10,000 (about £7,600) and a two-year contract to work as the Angostura global brand ambassador, looking after Angostura aromatic bitters, Angostura orange bitters, Angostura Rums and Amaro di Angostura. She or he will also have an opportunity to revisit Angostura’s home in Trinidad & Tobago to serve as a judge in the next AGCC Global finals.

The global final will take place in February during the spectacular Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. The bartenders will be challenged to mix two drinks in seven minutes while entertaining the judges with their knowledge about cocktails, the category and Angostura. They will also need to complete a rigorous interview for the job.

The Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 represents the 10th anniversary of the competition which attracted 318 entrants competing from 55 countries. It is designed to offer a level playing field so that it does not matter where bartenders are from or which bar they work at so long as they have “the skills, charm, knowledge and work ethic to excel at representing Angostura internationally” at some of the cocktail and drinks industry’s biggest events.

Rahim Mohammed, Angostura’s executive manager for corporate services and marketing, said: “The diversity of talent the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge helps to shine a light on is outstanding. Amongst the nine finalists, we have representatives from arguably some of the best rum bars in the world, high-volume cocktail bars, nightclub bartenders, those working in events, to someone who lives in a small town which by his own admission has little cocktail culture to speak of yet.

“We have finalists with just a couple of years’ experience to those with over 10 years, those that have enjoyed formal cocktail training to those that have been self-taught via books and YouTube videos, from award-winning bartenders to those competing in a major competition for the very first time.

“The one thing all of these finalists have in common is a real and urgent passion for their craft. For many it is a calling, an incredible talent for mixing drinks and a great way of telling stories and engaging an audience. I can’t wait to see all nine of these finalists in action here in Trinidad & Tobago and for them to experience one of the most incredible weeks on our beautiful islands.”

Ahead of the competition, there will be lots of opportunity for the finalists to deepen their knowledge of Angostura through distillery and museum tours and tutored tastings as well as to experience the island’s rich culture.

After the competition is over, all the finalists will have the opportunity to enjoy a full carnival experience – starting with J’ouvert, otherwise known as “dirty ‘mas”. This represents the official start of Trinidad & Tobago Carnival and is a pre-dawn celebration which involves revellers smearing paint, mud or oil on each other while dancing down the street in a J’ouvert band.

Queen’s Park Hallows
45ml Angostura 7 Year Old Rum 
10ml Falernum
10ml Maraschino Liqueur
5ml Crème de pêche
15ml Lime juice
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Shake the ingredients with plenty of ice. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a lime wheel toasted in an Angostura syrup (equal parts Angostura aromatic bitters and sugar).

Eye of the Hurricane
45ml Angostura 5 Year Old Rum
15ml Amaro di Angostura
15ml Lemon juice
30ml Guava juice
7.5ml Pineapple syrup
5ml Pedro Ximénez sherry
3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Build the ingredients together in a hurricane glass. Add crushed ice to fill the glass, but do not swizzle. Garnish with an orange slice, maraschino cherry and edible orchid.

Here are the other eight finalists’ cocktails. Where ounces are used, it refers to US fluid ounces. One US fluid ounce equates to about 30ml.

La Cura by Shana Rajahram
¾ oz Angostura 1919 rum
¾ oz Angostura 7 Year Old rum
½ oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
1 dash Cinnamon
½ oz Ginger tea
Add all ingredients into punch bowl and swizzle. Add a craft block of ice and crushed ice garnish with lemon grass, mints leaves, dry orange, 3 coffee beans and touch of cinnamon.

Better T’Maro by Shana Rajahram
1½ oz Amaro Di Angostura
¾ oz Orgeat
¾ oz Lime juice
15ml Angostura aromatic bitters
Shake all ingredients. Add into a chilled flute glass. Garnish with flowers.

Mas-Curried by Marv Cunningham
2 oz Angostura 7 Year Old rum
1 oz Curry shrub
¾ oz Fresh lime juice
2 dashes Cauliflower puree
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and double strain into an Old Fashioned Rocks glass over a single ice block. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and a hand-crafted traditional plantain chip.

Amaro Bank Burst by Marv Cunningham
1 oz Amaro Di Angostura
1 oz Angostura 1919 rum
5 oz Tamarind pulp
5 oz Spicy lemongrass syrup
1 oz Fresh coconut water
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into 8oz slim highball. Add ice and garnish with lemongrass stalk and an edible flower.

Along The Banks by Chad Lawrence
1½ oz Angostura 7 Year Old rum
½ oz Amaro di Angostura
¼ oz Crème de cacao
¾ oz Lime juice
½ oz Honey syrup (2:1)
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Salted absinthe rim
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Add all ingredients, except absinthe, to shaker and shake until chilled and diluted. Double strain into chilled coupe that has been spritzed with salted absinthe solution. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

Jaguars Breath by Chad Lawrence
1½ oz Amaro di Angostura
½ oz Cherry Heering liqueur
¼ oz Pedro Ximénez sherry
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Add all ingredients to mixing glass and stir until chilled and diluted. Strain into chilled coupe. Express an orange zest over the surface of the drink and discard. Place a skewer of 3 brandied cherries on the rim of the coupe.

Wings by Gustavo Costa
50ml Angostura 5 Year Old rum 
20ml Amaro di Angostura
15ml Lemon juice
5 dashes Angostura orange bitters
3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
100ml Ginger ale
Put all the ingredients in a highball glass and fill with ice. Stir gently and zest an orange peel above the cocktail. Garnish with an orange peel.

Fancy Cat by Gustavo Costa
40ml Amaro di Angostura
3 drops Saline solution (15%)
15ml Blood orange juice
50ml Eespresso
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Shake all the ingredients with ice as hard as possible. Strain the ice and dry shake to give the cocktail a great texture. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with toasted grains of coffee.

Butterfly Swizzle by Mike Jordhoy
40ml Angostura 7 Year Old rum 
15ml Banana liqueur
10ml Fresh lime juice
10ml Simple syrup (3:2)
5ml Amaro di Angostura
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
4 dashes Absinthe
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Build the drink into a snifter glass, except the Angostura aromatic bitters. Add crushed ice and swizzle. Complete with more ice and the Angostura aromatic bitters. Garnish with a wedge of flamed banana.

Doctor’s Orders by Mike Jordhoy
20ml Amaro di Angostura
20ml Yellow Chartreuse
20ml Verjus
20ml Vermouth bianco
2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
1 dash Absinthe
Pour ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a Nick & Nora glass.

Doctor’s Orders by Rohan Massie
50ml Angostura 5 Year Old rum 
10 Basil leaves
20ml Strawberry cordial
40ml Mandarin juice
30ml Coconut milk
5ml Fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Add all ingredients to shaker. Top with cubed ice. Short shake for five seconds. Double strain over crushed ice in pearl diver glass. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs and freeze-dried mandarin segments.   

Hidden Perfection by Rohan Massie
30ml Amaro di Angostura
60ml Banana wine
20ml Beetroot soda
2 dashes Parsley tincture
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
Keep all ingredients in fridge except for bitters and tincture. Combine ingredients in Pinot Noir wine glass over ice sphere. Stir briefly. Garnish with dehydrated beetroot crisp.

Bolivars by Vasile Dorofeev
45ml Angostura 7 Year Old rum 
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
5ml Falernum syrup
15ml Single origin cold brew
Stir down over a 6x6x6cm hand-cut ice block and garnish with a fancy orange peel.

Batida di Amaro by Vasile Dorofeev
50ml Amaro di Angostura
2 dashes Angostura orange bitters
40ml Natural coconut water
40ml Unsweetened lychee juice
15ml Lime juice
10ml Amarena Cherry syrup
Swizzle ingredients together in a hurricane glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a fancy mint sprig and 3 Amarena cherries on a skewer.

Liquid Salad by Agung Satria
30ml Angostura 1919 
30ml Coconut liqueur
30ml Dill extract
15ml Lime juice
5ml Sugar syrup
5 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
To make the dill extract, take 50g of fresh dill, combine with 200ml of water and blend until smooth and filter through a cheese cloth. Then, pour all ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain. Garnish with a dill leaf attached to the rim of the glass with a cocktail clip.

After 9 by Agung Satria
30ml Amaro di Angostura
15ml Hippocras spiced wine
10ml Monin Popcorn Syrup
30ml Lime juice
15ml Egg white
3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
To make the Hippocras, take 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon wine, 80g of cinnamon sticks and 300g white sugar and boil all the ingredients for 30 minutes. Then pour all ingredients into a shaker. Dry shake first and then hard shake over ice. Double strain. Garnish with caramelised baby corn.

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