Lougrat wins Courvoisier Toast of Paris UK final

Paul Lougrat from London has won the UK leg of Courvoisier’s third annual Toast of Paris cocktail competition.

Lougrat beat six other UK finalists at The Artesian bar in London on 11 April, following a series of regional heats across the UK in Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and London.

Lougrat said:“I was so shocked to win because everyone was amazing. I was second in the lineup and everyone who came after me was great. It took me a good 30 seconds to register the fact I had actually won.

“It was very stressful for me before I got up and created my cocktail because I was so nervous.”

Lougart was reduced to tears after being crowned UK champion and he will now move onto the global final, taking place in Paris next month, where he will face off against four other finalists.

This year, Courvoisier challenged bartenders to push the boundaries of the cognac category to create a cocktail which not only tastes good, but is ‘Instagrammable’ in the eyes of the judges.

The judging panel for the UK final consisted of Rebecca Asseline, Courvoisier global brand ambassador; Sandrae Lawrence, editor of The Cocktail Lovers and Anastasia Miller, cocktail historian.

Asseline added: “All of the UK competitors should be delighted with their performance. It was really tough deciding who our UK finalist was going to be this year, but we really felt Paul Lougrat excelled – totally encapsulating everything that the competition is about.”

Born in Paris, Lougrat now works at Highwater bar in London and he put some of his success down to the Courvoisier-coloured shirt he donned in the final.

“I saw this shirt in the vintage section and I thought ‘there’s my winning shirt’,” added Lougrat.

“It has been amazing to be a part of this competition, everyone – from hosts to competitors – were amazing, so I am really proud to be representing the UK in Paris.”

From Paris, all global finalists will travel to Jarnac where they will spend the night at Château Courvoisier and take part in a gala dinner and a tour of the Paradis cellar. 

The overall winner will also receive a unique blend of Courvoisier, created by Patrice Pinet and presented in an engraved, crystal decanter.  Courvoisier will also contribute $4,000 to the winner to support their future career development and continuous education.