Beluga Vodka is taking things to a whole new level for the third year of its annual Beluga Signature bartender programme.
What was already an ambitious, global cocktail competition has been transformed into a multi-stage programme including both educational and competitive components, and now spans nine countries over three continents. The top bartender from each market will compete in Russia for the top spot, and a prize that includes the title of Beluga Signature Global Ambassador 2019, the chance to present at global industry events, and a one-week internship at one of the World’s 50 Best Bars of their choice.
New for this year, the Russian vodka has teamed up with renowned industry experts to create the Beluga Signature Bartender School, which makes up the first stage of this year’s competition. This kicks off at the end of March, not only helping to strengthen bartenders’ understanding of this super-premium vodka, but helping to improve education and push boundaries in top-end bartending too.
This will take the form of a series of pop-up bartender schools around the world, with content curated by none other than award-winning bar and spirits expert Philip Duff. ‘The Profession of Modern Luxury’ is the theme for 2018’s series of pop-ups, which will present attendees with all the latest industry info, research and trends. ‘We’re eager to help bartenders everywhere develop their skills and adapt to a fast-moving world to further their careers,’ explains Duff.
Expect the series of one-day seminars to cover everything from how to build a profitable bar business to the body language of service, and from cutting-edge bar techniques such as rotavaps and sous-vide, to the art of resting spirits and cocktails. The line-up of renowned speakers will include last year’s winner, Beluga Signature 2017 Ambassador Witek Wojaczek of London’s Artesian Bar.
Attendees of the Bartender School will receive a creative task that will be used to shortlist 10 contestants from each country – Russia, France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, the US and Australia. These will compete to be named the single champion from each country, who will pack their bags for the global final in Sochi, Russia, at the Rodina Grand Hotel on 10 September.
The global winner, in their capacity as Beluga Signature Global Ambassador, will represent the brand and present their winning cocktail at Bar Convent Berlin, Tales of the Cocktail and Barra Mexico, as well as promote next year’s Beluga Signature Bartender Programme, and enjoy their one-week internship at a top global bar.
If you want to secure your spot in the Beluga Signature Bartender School, and ultimately your shot at the title of Beluga Signature Global Ambassador 2019, there’s no time to waste. The deadline for submissions, via beluga-signature.com, is 15 March 2018.
To register for the pop-up educational event, you’ll need to shoot a short video introducing yourself and your bar, explaining what Beluga Vodka, and the terms ‘gourmet’ and ‘luxury’ mean to you. Upload this here or via social media, tagging #belugasignature2018. Attendees of the school will then be eligible to submit their Beluga Connoisseur’s Choice cocktail, with the 10 best submissions in each country going through to their respective final.
More info on selection criteria and competition info, here.