You know a competition has been entertaining when you’ve seen a Hollywood stunt bottle, flames, synchronised flairing and a sword fight.
The Janneau ‘One for All, and All for One’ competition was the finale of day one at this year’s London Boutique Bar Show and what a fantastic end of the day it proved to be.
The competition was the brainchild of UK Brand Ambassador for Janneau, Matthew Dakers (swapping his well-known green hat for a feather adorned French cap for the day). The idea was for teams of three to perform on stage, entertain the crowd and create a sharing drink containing at least 75ml Janneau V.S.O.P.
Up for grabs for the winning trio was an all-inclusive trip to the South of France for a celebration of food and drink as well as some surfing lessons.
So without any further ado time for one of only 7 French phrases I know….
First up into the fray and to have me humming the at first nostalgic but soon annoying theme tune from Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, was the team representing Reading consisting of Ash Bovey, Josh Homerston and Alex Godfrey and calling themselves The French Trap.
Sporting some rather fetching hats and, as we have come to expect from Reading, a great drink they had the judging panel – consisting of Matthew Dakers, The Right Admiral Funk himself Joe Petch and BarLifeUK – smiling straight away.
Birmingham had sent down three of their best to represent the only city in the UK with its own micro-climate. The team named the Second City Sharks was formed of Ed Shawcross, Edd Fish and Sam Clarke and what they lacked in outfits they certainly made up for in presentation.
Their sharing drink was served in the most Birmingham of ways, a Balti dish and garnished with the help of two blow torches and a large dusting of cinnamon to produce a fire show to rival the Olympic opening ceremony.
A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach
London’s hotel bars were not to be outdone by the out of towners and team Talaricus Armagnacus comprising of Mate Csatlos, Swanny Korgaonkar and Francesco Turrini put on a hell of a show.
Their drink was definitely the most attractive of the day served in a wooden mug with Peacock Feather garnish and accompanied by a selection of fruit, cheese and chocolate on a presentation board that itself could be eaten. They combined this with some expert drink throwing and plenty of laughs for a superb showing.
Reform Social Bar & Grill were next up, their team The Reformists were the unknown force in the competition. However the combination of Vladimir Schmidt, Tiago Mira and Gregory Firmin Guion certainly made sure they were remembered.
From the moment they walked onto the stage they had the crowd on their feet. They then produced a fantastic display of synchronised flair complete with a long distance soda top. They certainly deserved the drinks they poured themselves as the judges started marking.
One Step Beyond
The final group up on stage were on hand to represent Bristol. BarLifeUK had recently been down there and we knew they had something up their sleeves but the scale of the performance was a shock even to us.
Dave Gerrans, Gareth Albridge and Michael Presely Sharpe made up the team A Farewell to Arms and as soon as they walked onto the stage in full Musketeers outfits complete with hats, tunics and swords you could sense something big was about to happen.
Over the next 5 minutes the crowd (who looked on with a mixture of shock and laughter) were treated to, what can only be described as a short play. The characters were ultimately making a sharing drink in a boot but surrounding this we were treated to sword fights, some of the most vicious glove slapping I have ever witnessed and eventually mass murder.
In amongst all of this Dave got a bottle smashed over his head. The crowd didn’t know whether to laugh or call 999 at first (for the record most laughed – not sure what that says about Dave!) until they realised a special effects sugar bottle had been used.
It was a lesson in how to make a presentation entertaining and educational and was a fantastic way to end the first day of Boutique Bar Show London.
In the end Matthew had no choice but to take two teams to the South of France with The Reformists and A Farewell to Arms deservedly getting a place on the plane.
The Bristol cocktail is below and keep an eye on BarLifeUK in the coming weeks as we are planning to film the Bristol performance for you all to see.
A Farewell to Arms
50ml Janneau V.S.O.P
25ml homemade liquid sherbet
Serve on ice top with champagne.