Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge 2016

On November 24 Amber Beverage Group will host the World Final of its premier bartending competition – The Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge 2016. It will bring together the 60 best bartenders from 15 countries who will present their original cocktail recipes featuring one of the world’s oldest   bitters – Riga Black Balsam.

The performance of the contestants will be evaluated by a panel of international judges based on the quality of the cocktails, originality of presentation and taste. The judges represented at the tasting panel of The Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge 2016 are:

  • Ron Busman, President of the International Bartenders Association;
  • Mario Hofferer, champion of IBA Cocktail World 2011 and distinguished molecular mixologist;
  • Raimonds Tomsons, one of the world’s leading sommeliers;
  • Valters Kaže, Chief Marketing Officer of Amber Beverage Group.

Riga Black Balsam today is a well-established premium international bitters, sold across more than 30 global markets and constantly increasing its fan base. The brand is an associate member of the International Bartenders Association (IBA) and a featured drink of the World Cocktails Championship (WCC) finals. In October 2016, Riga Black Balsam was chosen as the base spirit for his original recipe by the winner of Bartender’s Choice category at IBA World Cocktail Championship 2016 in Tokyo.

Māris Kalniņš, Global Brand Manager for Riga Black Balsam, sees the contest as a fantastic opportunity to grow the recognition of Riga Black Balsam:  The unique taste properties and richness of flavours make Riga Black a superb base for any cocktails – from simple to the most sophisticated ones, opening endless opportunities for masters of mixology. I believe The Riga Black Balsam Cocktail Challenge is a perfect place to unite the best bartenders and convert them into our “Riga Black evangelists” – to spread the word to end-consumers throughout the bar culture”.

Raitis Akerblūms, President of Latvian Bartenders Federation, is looking forward to having a tough competition this year due to the high quality of participants, most of whom were seeded through national qualification contests prior to the Global Challenge in Riga.  “The ultimate winner will not be determined just by the originality of cocktail recipe, but will depend on each participant’s knowledge, talent, and, of course, some luck!” he points out.

Valters Kaže, Chief Marketing Officer of Amber Beverage Group and member of the jury, is looking forward to an exciting experience for the judges’ panel: “Comparing original creations from the 60 best bartenders from around the world is both a pleasure and a challenge. No doubt, the best of the best will invest their efforts in making Riga Black experience unforgettable.”

The competition is organized by Amber Beverage Group, the leading wines and spirits company in the Baltics and brand owners of Riga Black Balsam, in collaboration with the Latvian Bartenders Federation.

For more information about the Riga Black Balsam Global Challenge please visit challenge.rigablack.com. For more information about the brand, please visit the website www.rigablack.com, Facebook page: RigaBlackBalsam and Instagram account: RigaBlackBalsam.

Video from the Riga Black Balsam Global Cocktail Challenge 2015: