Benoit Bouillard wins 25th Giffard West Cup

Benoit Bouillard from Monsieur Moutarde in Dijon, France was crowned the winner of the Giffard West Cup 2022 during the global final held in Angers last week.

Bouillard beat 17 other bartenders over a two-day global final held on 26-27 September at the original distillery where Emile Giffard began making liqueurs in 1885 in the centre of Angers, France.

“It feels amazing to win such a prestigious competition - particularly with so many great bartenders in the final,” Bouillard told Drinks International.

“I didn’t expect to win because I thought my first presentation didn’t go so well, but then I relaxed for the second challenge and thankfully the judges liked it.”

Guan Yi Lee from Taipei City was runner-up while Davide Barbieri of Torino completed the podium at the 25th edition of the competition, which began as a local competition back in 1997.

The first of two challenges set for the finalists was called ‘Clarity’, which saw competitors create a drink using Giffard’s flagship liqueur Menthe-Pastille. Bouillard’s Menthe Pompon used a combination of mint and mustard to represent both Angers and Dijon, which impressed the judges in round one.

The second challenge, called “Listen to the Flavours”, tasked the finalists to create another drink using the Giffard range which this time was inspired by music and life behind the bar. Bouillard’s drink, Le Rouge aux joues, once again pleased the judging panel which featured industry legend Simon Difford.

Bouillard added: “I knew I wanted to work more with Giffard’s Premium liqueurs because it’s a French brand and we feel proud of that. But to go on an win the West Cup is something I will never forget.”

Prior to arriving in Angers, the 18 finalists took over the Giffard booth in the Cocktail Street at Whisky Live Paris on 25 September and after the final, all 18 bartenders took a tour of the Giffard facilities to further understand the processes involved with making Giffard liqueurs.

As part of his prize, Bouillard will now embark on a series of bar takeovers in a country of his choice.