30th October 2018: Sula Selections, the import arm of Sula Vineyards and one of India’s leading wine and spirits importerslaunchedtheir trailblazing new IP in August 2018- ‘Beluga Cocktail Masters India 2018’ in association with Beluga Noble Russian Vodka, the world’s most popular Russian vodka. SULA SELECTIONS & BELUGA announced Adamo Balsamo representing CinCin as the title winner of the Beluga Cocktail Master India 2018. As part of the prize, Adamo Balsamo wins a trip to Moscow.
After a nationwide search, the top ten finalists were selected for the grand finale. The finalists selected showcased their immense talent through the initial rounds; they excelled at marketing and sales across digital platforms as well, earning them each a place at the prestigious finale. The finale commenced with the introduction to the finalists and a fascinating black-tie cocktail competition whereby the finalists prepared a unique Beluga cocktail. 5 mixologists were selected for the final challenge which was an enigma. A mysterious black box was presented to each contestant which included various unique ingredients like Dry Vermouth, Balsamic Vinegar, Rosso Vermouth, Star Anise, Rosemary, Apricot Marmelade which made the task even more challenging in order to bring out the best in them. Creativity and Improvisation were tested and the judges then moved on to select their winner.
In a bid to provide bartenders with an international experience, Sula commenced its three-city Masterclass in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore conducted by Agostino Schiavo, the head bartender at the legendary Arts Club in London. Over 200 bartenders across the country aligned themselves to put together interesting cocktails made with Beluga and learn global tricks about bartending. The bartenders were given one week to battle it out as they created a unique cocktail using Beluga Vodka and recorded a video showcasing it. From over 50 bartenders per city, 20 were selected to promote Beluga in a personal capacity and using their social media platforms, from which the top ten cocktails were selected for the final round. The ten finalists made their way to Mumbai for the Grand Finale 25th October and compete to be the Beluga Cocktail Masters India, 2018.
For the first round, Adamo Balsamo prepared ‘Moscow in a beach’; the drink is a combination of Beluga Noble Vodka, Sula Riesling, Pink Grapefruit, Lemon and Granadine. The judges praised the ideation behind the drink and it was termed it an ideal summer beverage. Moscow in a beach gave Adamo a spot amongst the top five. The final challenge then arrived upon Adamo in the form of a black box. The ingredients present in Adamo’s black box were fresh limes, fresh cucumber, fresh rosemary, mint leaves, pineapple juice, white vinegar, coconut milk, rose sweet vermouth, calvados, and seasonal berries, Adamo coupled his instincts and talent to create a unique cocktail on the spot and emerged as the winner of Beluga Cocktail Masters India 2018
Adamo Balsamo was born in Italy and trained in London. He can be found slinging drinks, dishing banter and generally holding court at CinCin. Passionate and concise, humble and humorous, he’s committed not only to the craft of mixology, but to genuinely connect with the customer. Cocktails at CinCin are an extension of his personality, witty and honest, served in a glass.
On winning the competition, Adamo Balsamo said ‘It had been six months in India and I wanted to make an impact. My friend from Yautacha insisted that I participate in this competition, upon his advice I started preparing for the competition a month in advance. I was very happy to attend the master class where I received my first fish badge, that’s when my interest begin to develop more in the competition. When the
black box arrived before me, I thought that was the end of the journey for me. Coconut milk was an ingredient that changed the game for me, I always wanted to make a drink with coconut milk. For my bar and for my team at CinCin, I am very happy! God bless everyone who wished me well. I never thought of winning this prestigious competition, for me participating was very important’
The judges’ panel comprised of Shatbhi Basu, India’s first ever female bartender. What was assigned to her as an additional job while working at a restaurant, became a skill of hers the entire country fell in love with. Shatbhi apart from being a bartender is a beverage consultant, an author, head of a bartending academy and American Whiskey Ambassador for India!Rojita Tiwari who is an independent writer, trainer, and consultant in the fields of wine & spirits, travel & hospitality was another judge. She is a WSET Level 3 certified professional and listed twice (2013 and 2015) as one of the Top ten women of wine in India by the Indian Wine Academy and possesses over 14 years of work experience. The third and final judge on the panel was Pankaj Kamble. Pankaj holds a Guinness World Record Title in Flair Bartending; he is also a beverage consultant, a LIMCA Book Record Holder and has represented India at various competitions, Pankaj has also appeared in TV shows and is famous amongst Bollywood celebrities.
Ken Pritchard, Senior Vice President, Marketing and International Sales, Sula Vineyards said, “We are delighted to have hosted Beluga Masters India 2018. The finale witnessed the crème de la crème of India’s mixologists who competed to win the title of “Beluga Cocktail Master India 2018! Beluga vodka represents the pinnacle of the vodka maker’s craft and our finale will showcase the pinnacle of Indian mixology – what a great partnership!
The 10 finalists had qualified against tremendous competition from around 200 mixologists who attended the Masterclasses in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. I’d like to congratulate *Adamo Bilsao *from CinCin for winning the competition. We were delighted to be back at Courtyard by Marriott and we are very grateful to them for hosting us. We look forward to hosting similar competitions and such experiences in the future”
The Top 10 Finalists who competed were:
1)Selwyn Fernandes from Harbour Bar (The TajMahal Palace Hotel)
2)WayneD’ Souza from Arth Restaurant & Lounge
3)Adamo Balsamo from CinCin
4)MeetModi from The Bombay Canteen
5)YatishBangera from FOO
From Delhi, the finalists selected were
6) AmanKhaitanfromBlue Bar
8)Sanjay SinghfromStory Bar
10) ManojNandha Kumar from BYG Brewski Brewing Company
About Sula Vineyards
Sula Vineyards is the market leader and consumer favorite in Indian wine. Their award-winning wines are available nationwide at the finest hotels and restaurants, and are also exported to 25 countries. Sula is a pioneer in India’s wine tourism opening the country’s first winery Tasting Room in 2005, the first vineyard resort – Beyond by Sula, in 2010 and India’s first heritage winery resort The Source at Sula in 2017. With over 350,000 visitors last year, Sula is one of the most visited wineries in the world and the #1 spot where Indians first taste wine. Sula won the prestigious Drinks Business Award 2016 for the ‘Best Contribution to Wine and Spirits Tourism’, the first time an Indian company won a Drinks Business Award. In July 2018 Sula also became the first wine company in India to cross the 1-million case sales mark. Firmly committed to remaining at the forefront of Indian wine, Sula continues to experiment with new grape varieties, engage in sustainable agriculture and support the local rural economy. Sula is one of the world’s most sustainable wine producers with more than half its energy coming from solar. In November 2017, Sula launched their first premium wine from their Karnataka vineyards. Kādu, (pronounced Kaa-du) is Sula’s first wine for a cause, benefiting tiger conservation in India.In addition, the company is also a leading wine and spirits importer, with Sula Selections, a portfolio of prestigious brands like Remy Cointreau, Beluga vodka, Hardys,Trapiche, Cono Sur, and Asahi beer. Sulafest has become one of the world’s biggest vineyard music festivals and will celebrate its 12th edition in February 2019.
About Sula Selections
Sula Selections is the import arm of Sula Vineyards and one of India’s leading wine and spirits importers. Sula Selections represents global leaders like Hardys, Cono Sur, Remy Cointreau, Trapiche, Ferrari and Asahi Beer. The portfolio includes wines from new and old world regions across Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Italy and France.Assured quality and great value in every category is the Sula Selections guarantee!
About Beluga Group
PJSC “BELUGA GROUP” is the leading diversified spirits group in Russia with a 15% share of the legal vodka market in Russia. The Company`s strategic focus lays on production and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Beluga Group is #1 Russian independent importer of spirits. Beluga Group possesses its own distributional platform, ensuring the largest possible market coverage, and diversified portfolio of federal brands, addressing market demands across the full spectrum of price points, from the low-middle to the super-premium price segments. Beluga vodka is the flagship brand in the company’s portfolio.
Established in 1900, the Mariinsk Distillery is responsible for producing the entire Beluga Vodka range. Situated in the heart of Siberia, Mariinsk Distillery is based in one of the most tranquil areas of Russia and uses industry-leading, cutting-edge equipment. Its unique geographical position provides Beluga Vodka with purest artesian water from its nearby 300 metre-deep Siberian wells.Beluga Noble– A combination of sugar syrup, natural honey, oatmeal infusion, holy thistle and a touch of vanilla, rested for 30 days. Beluga Transatlantic Racing – With extracts of wild strawberry and barley malt, Beluga Transatlantic is rested for 45 days having undergone an additional filtration using natural cotton. Beluga Allure – With a resting period of 60 days, Beluga Allure offers an outstanding flavour created from maple syrup extract and an infusion of figs. Beluga Gold Line, – The most premium vodka in the range, Beluga Gold Line is a blend of natural ingredients including rice essence and Rhodiolarosea extract rested over a 90 day period. Each bottle is individually numbered and comes with a wax sealed cork, accompanied by a unique Beluga hammer and brush.
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