Johannesburg - Cocktail connoisseurs are as pedantic as foodies when it comes to what goes in their glasses. The art of mixing drinks takes as much skill as a chef preparing a gourmet meal.

Mixologists have become sought-after staff at eating and drinking establishments around the world. Enter Brent Davids, who said mixing drinks is an art form where he creates expression.

The 25-year-old Observatory, Johannesburg resident recently participated in the South African leg of the Diageo World Class competition for mixologists. And while he narrowly missed out to make it to the finals, Davids has big dreams for his future.

One hundred mixologists from across the country showcased what they are made of, but only 15 made it to the second round. Davids, a huge tequila fan, said contestants were given a brief to create a twist on a classic cocktail. The Marble Restaurant mixologist did not disappoint the judges.

“I decided to twist the Singleton Sour Apple cocktail by adding sugar, peppermint and lemongrass. The drink was served in a cognac glass and I must say, it looked beautiful. Part of the brief was for us to dare to swim upstream. And while my drink was not conventional, it didn’t take away from the original,” he said.

And Davids’s twist was just what he needed to get to round two of the prestigious competition. Round two was held at Katy’s Palace in Kramerville and this is where the drinks really did the talking. Davids, who has been a mixologist for four years, was one of the youngest contestants in round two.

“I was one of the less experienced guys but felt really honoured to be in that group of 15. The SA industry is still small, so every opportunity to learn is welcome. But South Africa is still up there when it comes to mixing drinks. We have the best gins in the world right here. We are truly world class,” said Davids.

Round two challenged the participants to go back to their roots.

“I decided to create a twist on a Singleton by adding beetroot and ginger syrup and soda,” he said.

And while that’s where the competition ended for Davids, he is by no means defeated.

“I hope to move abroad soon to gain experience. I would like to come back home and open my own bar,” he said.

World Class Studios is a series of training sessions educating and inspiring bartenders around the world and they have recruited some of the world’s best bartenders, drinks professionals and creatives to collaborate on each session. ,

Each session is centred on a leading trend in the industry, told through the lens of one of Diageo’s Reserve brand spirits.

The World Class Bartender of the Year Competition is the world’s biggest and most respected bartending competition, celebrating the skills and craftsmanship of bartenders worldwide. It is an annual competition entered by thousands of bartenders across the globe, culminating in a Global Final event.

The World Class Global Final is not only where the best bartender in the world is crowned, it’s where the latest trends are showcased by industry leaders, where the trade’s biggest issues are unpacked by those actively championing them.

World Class Cocktail Festivals are exciting citywide experiences which celebrate the craft of cocktail culture. From parties to pop-ups, masterclasses to make-your-own events.

And when he’s not creating works of art for other people to enjoy, Davids loves sipping on anything that contains tequila, his poison of choice.

The winner of the South African leg of the competition will compete in the global finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil, later this year.

The Saturday Star

2023-06-05T10:14:18Z dg43tfdfdgfd