Savoy’s Wojaczek wins Courvoisier cocktail competition

Witek Wojaczek of The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy is the UK winner of Courvoisier’s Toast of Paris International Cocktail Competition.

Wojaczek will represent the UK in Paris next month (May 17) and compete against finalists from Canada, Japan, Austria, Germany and France.

The international group will then travel to the Courvoisier Chateau in Jarnac to visit the centuries-old Paradis cellar with master blender, Patrice Pinet, where the overall winner will receive the  prize of a bespoke Courvoisier cognac blend, presented in an engraved crystal decanter.

Witek’s twist on a classic champagne cocktail, La Haute Boheme* was said to have been inspired by high bohemians, a group of wealthy Parisians who enjoyed the good life during Belle Époque. The serve used Courvoisier VSOP as a base, infused with a homemade French Rose Liqueur, mixed with Cabernet Sauvignon and topped with Champagne.

The judges were: Balthazar’s Brian Silva, Mixxit manager David Miles and Courvoisier global brand ambassador, Rebecca Asseline.

Compered by Rebecca Asseline (pictured with Wojaczek), the event had six semi-finalists. Three were shortlisted to compete in a second spontaneous round where they were challenged to create a cocktail, inspired by bespoke Courvoisier scents, designed by luxury scent technician, Ericka Duffy.

Witek’s second cocktail Smokey Daytime was a blend of Courvoisier VSOP, sweetened with fig liqueur and balanced with bitters and lemon juice shaken with egg white and finished with chocolate bitters.

Asseline said: “We were impressed by all of the bartenders’ cocktails, but it was Witek’s serves which were favoured amongst the panel. His links to the Paris Golden Age and brand knowledge and skills made La Haute Boheme really stand out.”

The runners-up were: Luca Rapetti from Library Bar at The Lanesborough and Mikey Cook from London restuarant Rules.

Maxxium UK hosted the event. Its Courvoisier marketing controller Chris Anderson said: “The master classes have immersed bartenders in the glorious heritage of Courvoisier and given them a deeper understanding of the house and its style. The competition is a celebration of cognac’s place on cocktail menus and has allowed bartenders to showcase their creativity as well as the versatility of Courvoisier."

*Haute Boheme
30ml Courvoisier VSOP
25ml French Rose Liqueur**
10ml Cabernet Sauvignon
5d Peachaud's Bitters
Topped with Brut Champagne
Glass coated in Absinthe

**French Rose Liqueur:
150ml St. Germain
100ml Chambord
15ml Pernod Absinthe
15g Dried Rose Petals

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and leave to infuse for 45 minutes. Strain.
Glass: Vintage coupé
Garnish: Feather attached to stem of glass