Cocktail fest in Albufeira

The Montechoro Hotel in Albufeira recently hosted six days of shaking, stirring and cocktail making – as the combined force of the 12th national ‘after-dinner’ cocktail competition, the first national flair tending event and the European Union cocktail competition hit town.

This ambitious event was organised by the Portugal Algarve Barman’s Association and was sponsored by several of the Algarve’s câmaras and the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA). The entire six days proved hugely popular with both the public and professional bar staff. Although one of the final events started two and half-hours later than scheduled, it attracted people of all ages and nationalities.

The first round of the ‘after-dinner’ event involved challenging competitors to create five cocktails in five minutes. Those who didn’t manage the challenge in less than seven minutes were disqualified.

The ‘after-dinner’ competition was very formal and competitors were dressed in suits, whereas the ‘flair-tending’ competition was very upbeat as the competitors amused the crowd by performing their own ‘cocktail dances’. The flair-tending was also the event that got the spectators up on their feet and clapping. It was the most difficult of the challenges, as the competitors had to throw bottles of spirits and chunks of ice high into the air and catch them to make a cocktail. In the end, only one was able to do so without dropping his ingredients, although the rest of the participants were still able to amuse the judges.

After a hard day of cocktail making, the first phase of the European Union cocktail competition was held. Antal Kiss from the Hungary Barman’s Association won the European Union cocktail competition with his Figo cocktail. Pedro Moreira from the Portugal Madeira Barman’s Association came a close second with his Sofia cocktail.

Renato Pires, from the Algarve Barman’s Association, took home a trophy for winning the after-dinner competition and Nuno Curro, also from the Algarve Barman’s Association, won the flair-tending competition and will be representing Portugal in the world championship, which is taking place next October in Las Vegas.