The second edition of the Marriott International Liquid Masters 2019 bartending competition took place from 19 – 21 November 2019 at the stylish ABar of Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. 19 expert mixologists from 9 Marriott International brands across 10 cities in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam – The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Renaissance Hotels and Tribute Portfolio – went head-to-head in a regional showdown with an adrenaline-fueled display of skills, talent and showmanship. The competitors pushed the boundaries of the mixologist’s art with their signature creations. The event featured a dazzling menu of premium Craft Collective spirits, including Nusa Caňa Tropical Island Rum, Nouaison Gin, Diplomatico Rum, Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal and Giffard liqueurs.
“People have always been at the core of our company’s growth and success. We continuously provide opportunities for our talents to evolve and shine, as it translates into exceptional, personalized and elevated guest experiences,” said Petr Raba, Vice President, Food & Beverage Operations, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “Through fun and interactive events such as Liquid Masters 2019, our talented bartenders have leveraged this platform to hone their skills, step up their mixology game and showcase bartending mastery for a highly appreciative audience.”
The Marriott International Liquid Masters 2019 saw more competitors this year with 19 top bartenders from the five countries who took part in three days of workshops, challenges and team building activities, facilitated by some of the industry’s leading professionals. Aimed to develop and educate the bartenders as they revisit the key skills of their craft, each day, the bartenders worked in teams to win points for engagement, teamwork, knowledge, enthusiasm and other criteria. A daily winner was selected each day, which concluded with an immersive curated bar crawl across some of Bangkok’s top cocktail bars, where participants got to discover different styles and techniques of their craft alongside their colleagues and friends. The final showdown on day three saw the bartenders being challenged to craft a new signature cocktail using the premium ingredients, with the theme of innovation and sustainability. The bartenders had to create a story behind their cocktail, and give it a name.
Giri Asta from The St. Regis Bali, with the most points accumulated at the end of the three days won the title of Marriott International Liquid Masters Champion 2019. The 22-year-old passionate bartender has been recognized for his enthusiastic engagement, teamwork, profound knowledge and his signature tropical-inspired creations. His first international stage, the young talent went home with a customized bar tool kit worth USD $600 and a surprise grand prize – an all-expenses paid trip to one of Southeast Asia’s best bar cities, a two-night stay at a Marriott property and a guest shift at the city’s best bar. Winner for the Best Cocktail award was given to Namfon Jarensawang, representing Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park with her “Glow Gold,’ which took inspiration from the belief that gold is the auspicious color of good luck and wealth. She impressed the judges with her signature spirit-forward style and exemplary use of traditional Thai ingredients, dried jackfruit and aromatic pandanus leaves.
Industry experts were on hand to judge the finals including celebrated Asian cocktail consultant, Sam Jevons; Asia brand ambassador of Mr. Black, Arlene Wong; and local guest judges from ELLE Thailand, Kasidit Srivilai and GQ Thailand, Vasachol Quadri.
“Here in Asia-Pacific, we have an excitingly dynamic and diverse dining landscape. The abundant variety of amazing cuisines reflects the cultural importance of authentic foodie experiences in this region,” adds Raba. “With an extensive portfolio of over 2,800 restaurants and bars in Asia, we share locally-relevant F&B experiences through captivating concepts, unique design and of course, world-class talents. This is why we are proud to nurture our outstanding chefs and bartenders, who are the true creative forces behind all the great dining at Marriott International hotels.”