BarLifeUK Editor distills years of judging experiences into a guidebook for cocktail competition entrants.
Written in an irreverent style that will be familiar to BarLifeUK readers, The Cocktail Competition Handbook (Mixellany Limited, July 2017) offers a judge’s perspective on cocktail competitions. It aims to help bartenders get the most out of the cocktail competition experience, and ultimately increase the number of competitions they win.
The Handbook examines the entire competition process, from selecting the right competition to enter, to presenting to a judging panel. Creating a drink, devising a presentation, and promotion through social media and marketing are also discussed, along with the needs of competition sponsors and perceived competition politics.
Author Andy Ives says of the book:
“The Cocktail Competition Handbook comes from a desire to help bartenders get the most out of the time and effort they pour into cocktail competition entries. In part, the book is an amalgamation of the post-competition feedback I have dished out over the past fifteen years, but it also describes a method for creating presentations that I know from experience will engage competition judges and keep sponsors happy. Essentially, this book is a guide to winning competitions more often by avoiding common cock-ups, and understanding what judges and competition organisers really want to see in a winning entry.”
Andy Ives’ drinks-publishing career began in the late 1990s, working for The Publican Newspaper and its cocktail magazine spinoff, Flavour. He later joined CLASS, as editor of the magazine’s first website, before moving to Australia to become editor of Industry Magazine (cocktail bar design and interiors), and bars editor of Australian Bartender Magazine. In 2009, Andy partnered with Simon Webster to launch bar industry website BarLifeUK. The site flourished, and BarLifeUK is now the first place bartenders look for cocktail competition news, entries, and results. Andy remains BarLifeUK’s editor, and an active competition judge.