LOCKDOWN: A SERIES OF BAR EVENTS FOR THE COGNAC INTERPROFESSION
As part of its mission to raise awareness and train professionals in the specifics of the Cognac appellation, the Cognac Interprofession (BNIC) is initiating a series of events for bartenders. In France, the United Kingdom, the United States and China, the sector is betting on digital services and cocktail competitions to highlight their talents, in a difficult context for all bar professionals.
BARTENDING CONTESTS IN FRANCE AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Cognac appellation announces the launch of a 100% digital bartending contest on 12 November in France, and in early 2021 in the UK. Partnering with Spirits Hunters (spiritshunters.com), the Cognac Bartender Contest invites any participating bartender in France to share a video tutorial on Instagram creating a cocktail using Cognac. The contest will choose two winners every week for four weeks and ultimately crown one of them, who will be invited by Cognac producers once the lockdown ends to receive a grand prize of 1,000 from Spirits Hunters. The contest is 100% digital and will be publicised on the BNIC and Spirits Hunters’ social media (@cognac_official and @spiritshunters_mag).
Information, Rules and Terms of the contest are available at Spirits Hunters
COGNAC CONNECTION CONTEST IN THE UNITED STATES
As part of its campaign to promote the Cognac Geographical Indication in the United States, the BNIC organised a “Cognac Connection” contest in August. This online cocktail contest let American mixologists showcased their Cognac expertise and knowledge by sharing recipes for cocktails made with Cognac over social media.
120 bar professionals took part in the contest, with 90 recipes highlighting the diversity of Cognac sent to a panel of expert judges, who selected 10 winners:
Meghann Allred, Left Bank Bar & Restaurant – York, PA / Mara Bethel, freelance bartender – Atlanta, GA / Lance Bowman, Maya Hospitality Group – Charlotte, NC / Jesse Cyr, Foreign National – Seattle, WA / Chelsea DeMark, Quill at The Jefferson hotel – Washington, DC / Jena Ellenwood, Dear Irving – New York, NY / Anna Giordano, Longway Tavern – New-Orleans, LA / Britt Ingalls, Silver Lyan – Washington, DC / Lauren Paylor, Silver Lyan – Washington, DC / Jessica Pomerantz, Black Rooster – West Columbia, SC.
Each winner received a scholarship of $1,000 to take training sessions from bar experts. A digital book featuring the ten best cocktails will be available this autumn on the official website Cognac Connection. The recipes and the contest are available on the American Instagram account of the Cognac appellation: @CognacUSA.
COCKTAIL CONTESTS AND TRAINING IN CHINA
In China, where the cocktail scene is quickly developing, Cognac training sessions were also organised this summer in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to familiarise 130 Chinese bartenders in the aromatic richness of Cognac. At the end of the training, the bartenders were invited to create two cocktails using Cognac to win various promotional items for their bars. Six finalists competed in Shanghai on 18 August. The panel judges were cocktail experts, a Cognac Educator and influencers, and they selected Mr Xiang Gao from The Fabric Union bar in Shenzhen, who won first prize with a cocktail using VSOP Cognac, chocolate, raspberry purée, lemon and Amaro Averna.
© BNIC / Konoisseur
During the first lockdown, the BNIC already initiated several partnerships with bartenders and influencers to create live cocktail tutorials on Instagram in France and the United States. These digital events continued all summer long.