This was, for me at least, one of the most anticipated challenges of the whole competition. Cocktails against the clock gives you a chance to show the judges, all 8 of them, how you actually work behind a bar.
The drinks I had chosen for my round was:
Improved Whisky Cocktail | Talisker 10 | Stirred
Pink Gin | Tanqueray no Ten | Stirred
Rosita | Don Julio Blanco | Stirred
Coffee Cocktail | Zacapa 23 | Shaken
The Master Cleanse | Ketel One | Shaken
Batanga | Don Julio Blanco | Built
Moscow Mule | Ketel One | Built
Tropical Thing Sling | Tanqueray no Ten | Shaken
As opposed to some of my competitors, I chose to start off all the drinks at once, in order to streamline the service as much as possible.
When I practised this at home, my fastest time was 08.13, so I knew I should be able to execute all 8 drinks within the 10 minute time limit, even with the nerves kicking in.
In my opinion, there are a few key steps to surviving a speed round in WC.
– Read the rules
– Before you do anything, decide everything : choose what drinks to make, and what measures to use. You need to be exact, this way you wont have to worry how your drinks are going to taste during your round.
– Map out your routine on paper before you practise it behind the bar, then go back an adjust it after you’ve run through it a couple of times.
– Practise your routine as many times you can, with everything you’ll need for the drinks. “Dry runs” does not count!
– Never assume anything! If you need it – Bring it!
Personally, I felt good about my round, and I think this was my strongest challenge during the competition. I still have the Madrid round fresh in mind, so it felt really good to prove, if only to myself, that I can do it.
Cocktail against the clock also marked another significant moment, the end of the competition. This was the final challenge, and the end of an exhausting, but fantastic week.