5hours, 18 cocktails and 15 trained mixologists. That was the recipe for the first ever mixologist competition in Nairobi. Sponsored by Absolut Vodka, the competition hopes to raise the bar for mixing drinks in this fair city of ours and after five hours of drinking and judging, the three lucky individuals selected to pass verdict on the quality of the cocktails seemed to be in good spirits.
The judging panel comprised of UP’s Sapna Chandaria,as well as media personality, Fareed Khimani and the founding partner of PR agency,The Source’s, Catherine Coulson. The hopeful contenders set out in the first round to impress the judges with their own creations. Besides using some flavor of Absolut Vodka, they were bound by no other limitations than their skills and imagination. Drinks with names like the Ginger Glow, Purple Bubble, Oriental Honey, 1879 South, Absolute Go-Getter, Absolute Fizz and the Absolute Lemon Drop all seemed to fall in the good taste of the judges but only three were selected to the final round.
The final was the ‘ready-steady shake off’ where each contender had to hold his own by creating a drink by choosing from a list of freshly bought ingredients - beetroot, ginger, kiwi, watermelon, limes and pomegranate.Coming out on top was the triumphant Yvonne Njeri from Mercury, The Last Drop who shook and entertained her way to the 60.000 Ksh prize by mixing the Absolut Kick; an unusual drink consisting of ginger, kiwi, watermelon, limejuice, triplesec and Absolut Vanilla.
By Joseph Kibiru