Champion Angel An Ji In competition
Champion Angel Ng Ji In competition

First established in Loire Valley, France, over 165 years ago, orange liqueur brand, Cointreau, recently brought sixteen of Malaysia’s most dynamic and visionary mixologists to create and inspire with Cointreau, the original and premium triple-sec, at the Malaysia’s first-ever La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition 2014.

Inspired by Cointreau Privé in Paris, La Maison Cointreau made its debut in New York City in 2012, with the aim to introduce Cointreau as the avant-garde and Parisian style spirit that allows mixologist to be ‘Cointreauversial’ and explore endless cocktail variations using Cointreau.

16 Finalists
16 Finalists

Recently, an exclusive, by-invitation only competition was held as La Maison Cointreau brought together the best talents that Malaysia’s growing cocktail industry had to offer by scoping from renowned bars to speakeasy gems. Selected from some of Malaysia’s most well regarded bars, these 16 mixologists went head to head to showcase their skills and creativity in applying various techniques while preserving Cointreau at the heart of their cocktails.

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The La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition 2014 which served as Malaysia’s inaugural cocktail competition was held at Claret Bar at Troika Sky Dining. The selected 16 mixologists were provided with the entire Rémy Cointreau International wines and spirits portfolio as well as 30 different ingredient to compete on two fundamental challenges using Cointreau as the heart. Some of the ingredients included the conventional berries to unorthodox extremes including soya sauce, wasabi and garlic.

Winner's shot
Winner’s shot

Mixologist were required to partake in two challenges. The first being the Respect Challenge which tasked the mixologists to create an iconic cocktail that showcased elegance and displayed technique and respect for Cointreau’s rich heritage. The second challenge – The Create Challenge, required mixologists to explore and be ‘Cointreauversial’ by creating a masterpiece that truly exhibited the avant-grade spirits of Cointreau.

The winner of the competition was picked based on the best overall score on the two challenges. The judging criteria covered flavour, aroma, presentation, techniques and use of Cointreau. The elite judging panel was made up of Mr. Christian Bauer, Celebrity Chef & Owner of Cantaloupe, Mr. James Barker, Bar Manager & Head Mixologist of Rils, Bangsar and Ms. Elisabeth Tona, Regional Marketing Director of Rémy Cointreau International, Southeast Asia, Middle East and India.

The Judges
The Judges

Angel Ng Ji from Hit & Mrs was crowned champion after 5 gruelling hours of tough competition. Originally from Singapore, Angel heads the bar at Hit & Mrs, a premium outlet by The Big Group. Prior to the La Maison Cointreau Cocktail Competition 2014, Angel made the final cut at Diageo World Class and won the Mount Gay storied Cocktail competition earlier this year.

Both of Angel’s captivating cocktails “Earl of Von Teese” and “Le Pierrot” encapsulated the essence of both challenges, winning her the competition.

Winning Cocktail  Respect Challenge - "Earl Von Teese"
Winning Cocktail Respect Challenge – “Earl Von Teese”

Upon the announcement, Angel said:

I was certainly shocked to have won as there were many talented bartenders who did amazingly well! I am extremely excited to break the news to my company, The BIG Group who have been so supportive of me. Now that it’s over, I am extremely relives and thankful for the fact, I’ll stop losing hair due to the stress!

Angel receives a 3 day 2 Night vacation in Bali and will go on to represent Malaysia in the prestigious regional finals in Bangkok in January 2015.

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Winning Cocktail Create Challenge - Le Pierrot
Winning Cocktail Create Challenge – Le Pierrot

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Bryna spends most of her time obsessing over cars and sports, particularly football while keeping updated with the entertainment scene. From raves to rock concerts, Bryna listens to all sorts of genres and is also a fan of horror and action movies.