Beluga Signature bartender program 2020: It is all about balance

MUMBAI: For the fifth year running, a luxury Russian vodka brand – Beluga - announces long-awaited launch of their annual international bartending program Beluga Signature. This multistage on-trade initiative encompasses an exclusive pop-up Bartending School and creative competition across seven major markets in the world.  

Top-level bartenders from Russia, France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy and India will be challenged to win an opportunity to receive a one-week internship in one of the 50 World’s Best Bars upon one’s choice.  One representative from each country will travel to Saint Petersburg in September 2020 to represent their state and venue and compete for the title of Beluga Signature Global Ambassador for one year. With this title, the sole Beluga Signature Champion 2020 will collaborate with Beluga the most significant global industry events (Bar Convent Berlin, Tales of the Cocktails, Bar Convent Brazil) as well as promote the program next year.

Unlike many other competitions, Beluga Signature rewards most of the participants at the early stages. Those entrants, that submit their recipe through by March 3rd, 2020 will be shortlisted down to 30 best and get a full day of exclusive education from the spirits scene guru and Beluga Signature Educational Director Philip Duff, world renowned “star”-tender Remy Savage (formerly The Little Red Door , Paris & Artesian, London, currently Bar Nouveau and Le Syndicat) and Beluga Signature 2019 winner Lucia Montanelli (The Bar  at the Dorchester, London).

The entry theme of this year is “The Balance”. Participants are required to create a cocktail that will represent an idea of the perfect balance translated into the drink. Balance between East and West, sweet and salty, water and fire or any other of their own choice. The recipe shall mandatorily contain one ingredient from the region the bartender represents or originates from and no more than 5 ingredients in total. The cocktail entry has to be supported with a story in English that explains how the theme of “The Balance” has been approached by the competitor.

Commencing at the beginning of April, Beluga Signature Bartender School is a one day educational pop-up event in each of the 7 countries, which is aimed at contributing to the bartending community education, while pushing the boundaries of creativity and high-end mixology. To make sure all masterclasses deliver up-to-date knowledge and deep research of the latest trends, Beluga vodka traditionally engages award-winning speakers from all around the world.

Over the past years, the program has been mainly centered on Luxury, which is in Beluga vodka DNA. How to run a profitable high-net worth bar, deliver luxury experience to guests, read your guests emotions and use cutting edge-technology and experiential serves to impress them.

“This year we will take this idea even further.” –says Philip Duff. “We are going to talk about The Balance, since it in many ways defines luxury. The topic will be emphasized through several pillars of education, where we discuss creating balanced, innovative and luxurious cocktails using wide spectrum of tastes & aromas, about balancing luxury cocktails and ingredients to create total drinks offerings that are both profitable for the bar and affordable for the guest. On top of that we will pay tribute to those who build hospitality industry, every day working long hour behind the stick, facing challenges. This will be about creating and maintaining work-life balance for staff, managing harmonious diversity, and serving shareholders and the community equitably.’ – concludes Duff. “Needless to say, everyone who gets through the initial shortlisting to attend these private seminars is a winner already!” 

Following the educational stage, all the School attendees will receive a creative task to upgrade their entry cocktail in a certain way and pass online selection through website. 10 shortlisted contestants from each country will present their creations in front of the panel of judges in June. Right on the spot, based on performance, skills and knowledge, the only winner will be crowned the Country Champion and start packing bar tools for the unforgettable trip to Russia.

Later in the year, 7 Global Finalists will meet each other and share an incredible Saint Petersburg experience, as well as take part in the Beluga Signature Grand Final competition on September 9th, 2020.

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