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Cocktails For You & the IBA World Cocktail Championships 2018

Cocktails For You has a special relationship with the International Bartenders Association because our founder Eddie Rudzinskas has been a member of Bartenders Association of Ireland for most of his bartending career. In 2014 Eddie represented Ireland at IBA world cocktail championships & took home the Silver medal when the final was held in Cape Town, South Africa.

For us it was a special moment when they called us this year to invited Eddie as a super-final judge for the 44th Annual World Cocktail Championships!



It's an interesting story with the IBA. The International Bartenders Association was founded on Saturday, 24th February 1951in the Saloon of the Grand Hotel in Torquay, U.K.

The delegates representing their guilds agreed on the desirability to set up an International Organisation in order to represent the best bartenders in the world. The World Cocktail Championships is a worldwide, independent competition with 67 countries competing, and has been running for 44 years.

For more information about International Bartenders Association History follow the link bellow:

Even with the recent explosion of the bartending profession globally all connected through the power of the internet it is important to understand that these guys were much more forward thinking considering when they initially formed. They were essentially a union & to this day are the biggest bartending organisation in the world.


World Cocktail Championships This Year The Bartenders Association of each country sent their best bartenders in Estonia to represent their country on the world stage. Flairtending competition and Classic mixing competition 67 countries, 134 bartenders and only 7 gold, 7 silver & 7 bronze medals.

There is 6 categories for classic mixing competition where countries are picked by drawn for which category they compete. Categories : Before dinner drink competition Sparkling cocktail competition Short drink competition Long drink competition Bartender's choice competition After dinner cocktail competition All the winners of each competition competing after in The super final for " World Bartender of the Year 2018 " title. Check out video bellow from WCC 2018

This years winners are the following: - Ms. Karina Tamm, Estonia (Bartenders Choice Cocktail) & World Bartender of the Year 2018

- Mr. Ariel Sanecki, Ireland (Gold Medal Sparkling Cocktail)

- Mr. Danilo Oribe, Uruguay (Gold Medal Flair Cocktail) He finished his bartenders carrier and last competition with the gold medal. Congrats

- Ms. Agnieszka Cieslar, Poland (Gold Medal Long Drink)

- Ms. Yandery Crispin, Dominican Republic (Gold Medal After Dinner)

- Mr. Grétar Matthíasson, Iceland (Gold Medal Short Drink Cocktail)


More than just a competition

The annual WCC is really much more than just a competition where bartenders come together after reading plenty pages of rules & hand model spirits. The competition moves every year to a new location allowing the local chapter to host members of the IBA from all over the world in their hometown. New friendships are formed, old friends catch up & there is a full educational program from supporting sponsors to help make this event an unforgettable one.

We at Cocktails For You haven't been to an event in a long time where the bartenders are proud of their guild uniform they're wearing as well as attending all lectures with a sense of pride in their profession. As much as we talk about this industry being in the second 'Golden Age' it seems the only ones taking it seriously are the IBA.



As we'd mentioned previously there was a full educational programme

for this 5 day extravaganza. There was educators from all over the world in Estonia for this year but as usual there were definitely highlights that we'd particularly like to point out. Shout out to one of our favourite brand ambassadors Daniyel Jones from the House of Angostura who wasn't able to attend this year but his local brand ambassador was there to talk about all things Rum & Bitters bringing the Caribbean love to the health of the Baltic

Crafters Gin Masterclas

Negronis on arrival and full tasting of different botanical distillates that go into the production of the product including an intensive breakdown of the science behind isolation of these particular flavour molecules. Especially interesting is the highlighting of 'HOW' & 'WHY' you taste the things that you do as a result of the distillation process. Finished amazing Taavi Tenso masterclass by blending our own bottle of gin to take with us.

Riga Balsams with Justs Kiščenko

This is a product rarely seen outside of the Baltic states that is slowly gaining more recognition globally, Driven the international interest in more bitter flavours this product made in Latvia actually has a history that dates back all the way to 1752. Although initially the history points that the production was in the hands of the Albert Wolfschmidt prior to the Soviet invasion when the recipe was lost it was faithfully recreated by ex-employees only 5 years after WW2. Fascinating!


Parting words from Eddie

This year's competition was one of my favourite to date even though I wasn't competing anymore. I was nervous for all my friends who were probably more so than when I was the one in their shoes. In the end I'd like to congratulate all the competitors who came representing their country. It is truly difficult to perform on stage with so many rules to memorise & a delicious cocktail to create at the same time.

Those of you who are now champions I bow my head to you & those of you who didn't make it just remember - It is NOT a mistake if you LEARN from it! I'll see you next year where I'll be cheering for you!

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