• Germany's news in English

World Cocktail Championship shakes up Berlin

AFP · 12 Aug 2009, 08:06

Published: 12 Aug 2009 08:06 GMT+02:00

Over 800 bartenders from 52 countries competed in two categories: "classic" where taste is king, and "flair" where competitors pull off jaw-dropping routines, hurling bottles in the air, spinning shakers on their heads, all backed by thumping music and wildly cheering crowds.

"Give it up for Indiana Jones," shouted the announcer as the first "flair" participant - resplendent in Fedora hat - burst onto the stage to the theme tune of the blockbuster film, twirling bottles at astonishing speed.

But do not let the pounding music, baying crowds and razzmatazz fool you: it's a serious business and the connoisseurs and judges are every bit as exacting as the most snobbish wine critic.

Ever competitive, the Germans left nothing to chance this year and borrowed a trainer from the World Athletics Championships - due to start on August 15 in Berlin - for "fitness training."

"They warmed them up and got them fit for the Championships. I don't quite know how," Bernhard Stoehr, President of the German Bartenders Association, told AFP.

And the Germans were especially glad of their physical trainer after their own "flair" participant, Levent Yilmaz, sustained a career-threatening shoulder injury in the preliminary rounds.

"We think he hurt his shoulder throwing up a bottle yesterday and this morning he couldn't move his arm," said Stoehr.

"He had had eight injections in his arm," he said, adding he was glad there are no doping checks in the Cocktail World Championships.

But the drugs and the doctors worked their magic and the crowd saved their loudest cheer of the night for two-time world "flairtending" champion Yilmaz who wowed them by juggling four bottles and a shaker, at one point catching a rum bottle on the bridge of his nose, to ecstatic applause.

However, like the ice in his cocktail, the home favourite's dreams of a third world title were crushed by the British contender, Gianluigi Bosco, with his "Absolutely Rocking" concoction.

Shaking a potent mix of vodka, apple liqueur, mango juice, vanilla, lemon juice, lime, a slice of apple and red currants, Bosco impressed the jury with his complex juggling routine, at one point keeping four bottles in the air before catching them behind his back.

Story continues below…

Proudly waving a Union Jack flag, Bosco, 25, who speaks fluent French, Spanish and Italian as well as English, told AFP: "I still can't believe I'm World Champion."

"When I arrived, I thought I would be happy just to get to the final," he said.

Vladimir Banak, from the Slovak Republic, carried off the "classic" trophy with his "Sweet Road," a mix of raspberry vodka, black currant, vanilla and cream, garnished with cacao powder.

Banak's newly-crowned "cocktail of the year" will be served at the opening of the World Championships 2010, due to held in Singapore, announced Derek Lee, President of the International Bartenders Association, as he kicked off what promised to be one hell of a party.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd