Mixing cauliflower and curry spices with rum helped bartender Marv Cunningham to win the final of an international cocktail competition in Trinidad & Tobago.
He was competing against eight other finalists, including UK winner Simon Dacey of Trailer Happiness in London, in the culmination of the 10th-anniversary Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge which takes place during Trinidad & Tobago Carnival.
It challenges bartenders to create two drinks using its products including Angostura rums, Angostura’s aromatic and orange bitters, and Amaro di Angostura.
Cunningham (pictured below), from Aura Nightclub at Atlantis in The Bahamas, representing the Caribbean, also won the award for best rum cocktail in the competition for Mas-Curried (pictured top) which combined Angostura 7 Year Old rum with his own curry shrub, cauliflower puree, lime juice and Angostura’s aromatic and orange bitters. It was garnished with a dehydrated lime wheel and a plantain chip.
His recipe captures one of the most popular of Trinidadian flavours – curry – and, with the cauliflower puree, shows it can complement Angostura 7 Year Old Rum which has rich maple, chocolate, honey and toffee notes. See below for the full cocktail recipe.
Second place went to Rohan Massie (pictured below) from Rude Boy in Hobart in Tasmania, representing Oceania. He also received the award for best amaro cocktail for Hidden Perfection which mixed Amaro di Angostura – inspired by Italian amaros and Angostura Aromatic Bitters – with banana wine, beetroot soda, a parsley tincture and Angostura Orange Bitters, garnished with a dehydrated beetroot crisp. See below for the recipe.
Third place went to Agung Satria of Bam Bam in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, representing Asia.
Cunningham has been awarded a cash prize of US$10,000 (about £7,600) and a two-year contract as global brand ambassador for the Angostura range. He has been bartending for over 20 years and is two-time winner of the Taste of the Caribbean Best Caribbean Bartender award.
Cunningham navigated the rigorous competition, which included an interview and the challenge to make the two cocktails in seven minutes while demonstrating knowledge of the brand and category and entertaining the judging panel.
Explaining what set Cunningham apart, head judge Maxwell Britten said: “Marv has the overall package and an incredible amount to contribute to Angostura. He demonstrated dedication to his craft, outstanding storytelling capabilities, a personal magnetism and a heart-warming humility. He has a culinary sensibility that is increasingly important both in today’s cocktail world and also in food preparation. As I’ve seen demonstrated here in Trinidad, Angostura bitters add the same magic to a dish as it does to a drink.
“His rum cocktail was probably the most unusual of the competition. I’d never considered adding cauliflower to a cocktail, but it really works.”
Full recipes for the two winning cocktails
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.
Note: This recipe refers to US fluid ounces. One US fluid ounce equates to about 30ml.
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 the ingredients in the fridge except for the bitters and tincture. Combine the ingredients in a Pinot Noir wine glass over an ice sphere. Stir briefly. Garnish with a dehydrated beetroot crisp.