MANILA -- Duane Legaspi and John Silva from Admiral Hotel’s newly opened Ruby Wong’s Godown mixed up a storm as they won the first-ever Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Barrel-Aged cocktail competition.
The competition, which was held at The Ministry of Shangri-La at the Fort, had 12 teams from select bars, hotels, and restaurants showing off their mastery of mixing cocktails using the Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal as their base.
The competitors also had to age this cognac in special barrels from special oak from the French region of Limousin. This oak is more porous and offers a pronounced flavor profile that is heavy on the vanilla. It was up to the teams to determine how much to age the cognac to highlight flavors that would best suit their concoction.
Legaspi and Silva wowed the judges with their drink Avant Garde, a spirit-forward cocktail with 36-day aged cognac to highlight its plum and fig notes, mixed with Japanese Umeshu plum liqueur and Bianco Ambrato. The result was a concoction that was easy to drink and could be paired with food or sipped as an aperitif.
Rounding out the winners are Melody Joy Lim and Mark Clarenz Tagbago of Baccarat Room and Bar in Solaire Resorts and Casino coming second, and Karl Kristof Victor and Mandrake Ferrer from The Curator in third place.
Other contestants came from OTO, Run Rabbit Run, La Veranda, Spiral, Alibi Lounge, Finestra Italian Steakhouse, Salt and Ice, The Spirits Library, Lotus Gin Room, and Guilt PH.
According to Rémy Martin’s Philippine brand ambassador Kate Osmillo, only about 20 bars in the Philippines use cognac as a base for their cocktails because of cost and unfamiliarity. It is hoped that this competition will encourage more bar owners to use higher tier cognac in their cocktails as is done in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam.