PERFECT SERVE

2018 BARTENDING
COMPETITION

ICHI-GO, ICHI-E

“One moment, one encounter.” The Japanese Ichi-go Ichi-e philosophy is the guiding principle behind the Nikka Perfect Serve bartending competition. Every encounter is unique and can never be repeated, and so we must give our very best at all times.

FOCUS ON THE GUEST

Unlike other bartending competitions, The Nikka Perfect Serve encourages bartenders to place the guest at the heart of the bar experience. Bartenders must be attentive and aware of their guest’s presence, state of mind, and palate in order to offer the most suitable service and cocktail at that specific moment. The process is as important as the cocktail itself.

“The door separates the guest-centric world from the outside world. The most important moment of truth throughout the whole experience is when the guest appears and disappears through the doorway.”

OMAKASE

As in previous years, the contest will continue to focus on omakase: “I leave it to you.” Judges playing the roles of indecisive customers will act as different characters, and ask the bartender to improvise a bespoke Nikka cocktail.
Experienced bartenders will have a large repertoire of cocktail recipes in mind at all times, and will be able to choose, twist and adapt them to serve the most appropriate Nikka Whisky cocktail for each situation played out by the judges.

KODO: “LISTEN” TO THE SCENTS

The 2018 edition draws on certain aspects of Japanese Kodo ceremony, which encourage participants to “listen” to the scents, or give them a personal meaning and imagery, through traditional exercises involving incense.

The extra challenge this year is to build on this concept, and offer a creative “nosing” experience adapted to the unique aromas of Nikka whiskies and spirits, but also the bartender’s or the guest’s subjective perception.

RULES

Judges will play the roles of guests and act out different scenarios.

For 15 minutes, you will be a bartender to 3 judges at the same time, as if in a real bar situation.
Judges will score participants based on the entire experience: service, hospitableness, attention to detail, product knowledge, as well as the choice of and quality of the cocktails.

COCKTAIL JUDGES

The first two judges will ask you to prepare a Nikka cocktail (one different cocktail for each judge), which you should improvise based on the role they are playing. These can be classic cocktails, originals or twists, based on ingredients available at the hosting bar, and one of the available Nikka whiskies or spirits.

AROMATIC EXPERIENCE

For the third judge, we ask you to serve a pure Nikka whisky, gin or vodka (straight, rocks, etc.) in a special way that somehow features the spirit’s unique aromas. This experience should be prepared in advance and submitted along with your registration. For this performance, you will have the choice from the 5 available Nikka listed below.

INGREDIENTS

Participants may not bring their own bottles, homemade ingredients or glassware, except for any special items required for the aromatic experience. Also, please remember to bring your bar tools.
Common bar ingredients will be available, including the following Nikka whiskies and spirits:

. Nikka From the Barrel
. Nikka Coffey Grain
. Nikka Coffey Malt
. Nikka Coffey Gin
. Nikka Coffey Vodka

Note: The selection of whiskies may vary depending on market availability.

THE PRIZE

The winner of the local contests will represent their country in the Global finals on November 26th 2018 in Athens, Greece! The winner and runner up of the finals will be invited on a trip to Japan to experience the Japanese bar scene and visit the Nikka distilleries: Yoichi and Miyagikyo!

GOING WORLD-WIDE

For the first time, the Nikka Perfect Serve bartending competition will go beyond Europe, and welcome two finalists from the USA!

12 CITIES

. France – Bordeaux, June 25th
. UK – London, July 30th
. Sweden, Norway, Finland & Denmark – Oslo
. Belgium –
. Italy –
. Czech Rep., Slovakia & Hungary – Bratislava
. Portugal –
. Russia –
. Germany & Austria –
. USA – New York City
. USA – San Francisco
. GLOBAL FINALS – Athens, Greece, Nov. 26th
2017 EDITION

WINNER : Iakobos Kostantas

Second : Baijie Curdt-Christiansen

FINALISTS

France Jonathan Le Mée Sherry Butt, Paris
UK Luke Robinson Super Lyan, London
Denmark Baijie Curdt-Christiansen Lidkoeb, Copenhagen
Poland Sławomir Kowalczyk 17 Schodów Cocktail Bar, Szczecin
Italy Mateo Rebuffo The Mud Social Club
Switzerland Anja Rubin Bar Baltazar, Basel
Russia Ekaterina Efimova Keanu, Moscow
Greece Iakobos Kostantas Oz cocktail bar, Chios
Slovakia Zdenko Michlik Antique American Bar, Bratislava
Germany André Zauner Provocateur, Berlin

JUDGES

Roggerio Igarashi Vaz of Bar Trench, Japan
Dave Broom, whisky writer and journalist, UK
Emiko Kaji, International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Pegu Club, New York City
December 4th 2017

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2016 EDITION

WINNER : Tomasz Źródłowski

Second : Nathan Shearer

FINALISTS

Italy, Milan, Niccolò Avanzi Excelsior Hotel Gallia
Spain, Madrid, Daniel Burgos Hinchado Casa del pez
Denmark, Copenhagen, Greta Dauksaite Ytting The Market
France, Paris, Nicolas Chaumery Candelaria
Czech Rep, Prague, Peter Bobula Zanzi Bar
Portugal, Faro Algarve, Jaime Twissell Bovino Stekhouse
Greece, Thessaloniki, Alexander Sourmpatis Spinte
Poland, Kraków, Tomasz Źródłowski Mercy Brown
Germany, Berlin, Jumpei Yamamoto Salut bar
UK, London, Nathan Shearer Callooh Callay

JUDGES

Charles Schuman, Schumann’s Bar & Fleurs du mal, Germany
Pino Perrone, organiser of the Rome Whisky Festival, Italy
Emiko Kaji, International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Chorus Cafe in Rome, Italy
November 28th 2016

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2015 EDITION

WINNER : William Hetzel

Second : Krisztián Csigó

FINALISTS

France William Hetzel Bar Termini, London (précédemment au Bar 8 du Mandarin Oriental, Paris)
UK James Bowker The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge, Birmingham
Belgium Vitas Van de Cauter Uncle Babe’s Burger Bar, Gand
Hungary Krisztián Csigó Boutiq’Bar, Budapest
Denmark Goran Aziz Strøm Bar, Copenhague
Italy Luca Cappietti Stravinskij Bar at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Switzerland Günther Strobl Clouds Bar, Zurich
Greece Evangelos Nomikos Matsuhisa, Athènes
Germany Thomas Kunze Clouds Heaven’s Bar & Kitchen, Hambourg
Finland Laura Nissinen A21 Decades, Helsinki

JUDGES

Erik Lorincz: head bartender at the American Bar – Savoy Hotel, UK
Neil Ridley: spirits writer and consultant, UK
Emiko Kaji: International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Beaufort Bar of the Savoy Hotel in London, UK
November 23rd 2015

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2014 EDITION

WINNER : Jørgen Dons

Second : Krystof Hordina

FINALISTS

France Simon Chollet Sherry Butt, Paris
UK Ernest Reid Boisdale of Canary Wharf, Londres
Pologne Maciej Szymański Varsovie
Belgique Nick Baeyens Uncle Babe’s Burger Bar, Gand
La Réunion Yannick Combot Palm Hotel, Saint Pierre
Italie Valentino Longo Splendor Parthenopes, Rome
Espagne Gegham Ghazaryan El Portal, Alicante
Rép. Tchèque Krystof Hordina La Casa de la Havana vieja, Prague
Danemark Michael Olsson U Bar at Umami, Copenhague
Russie Irina Golubeva Tribeca, Moscou
Allemagne Meike Zimmermann Falk’s Bar – Hotel Bayerischer Hof München, Munich
Norvège Jørgen Dons Raus En Bar, Trondheim

JUDGES

Charles Schumann: Schumann’s Bar & Fleurs du mal, Germany
Dave Broom: whisky writer and journalist, UK.
Emiko Kaji: International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Lux Hotel on La Réunion island
December 1st 2014

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2013 EDITION

WINNER : Jesse den Dulk

Second : Patrick Pistolesi

FINALISTS

France Roman Tournay Le Carmen, Paris
Belqique Jesse den Dulk Jigger’s, The Noble Drugstore, Gand
UK Luca Missaglia Quo Vadis, Londres
Suède Nicolas Truedsson Hornhuset, Stockholm
Italie Patrick Pistolesi Barnum Cafè, Rome
Allemagne Mohamed Kaba Momo’s Bar, Wiesbaden
Rép. Tchèque Milos Danihelka AnonymouS Bar, Prague
Russie Stepan Balabanov DeFAQto, Moscou
Danemark Jonas Andersen STRØM, Copenhague
Espagne Joao Bizcaia Magatzem Escolà, Barcelona

JUDGES

Charles Schumann: Schumann’s Bar & Fleurs du mal, Germany.
Frank-Michael Böer: organiser of the « Finest Spirits » festival, Germany.
Emiko Kaji: International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan.

PLACE & DATE

Les fleurs du mal in Munich, Germany
December 1st 2014

PHOTOS

2012 EDITION

WINNER : Amaury Guyot

Second : Doreen Philipp

FINALISTS

Amaury Guyot – Sherry Butt, Paris, France
Doreen Philipp – Falk’s Bar, Munich, Allemagne
Adam McGurk – The Hawksmoor, Londres, UK
Tommaso Colonna – Caffè Gambrinus, Gravina, Italie
Ilya Bubashvili – Aloha Bar, Moscou, Russie
Adam Hrapko – Black Angels, Prague, Rép. Tchèque

JUDGES

Salim Khoury, former head bartender at the American Bar – Savoy Hotel, UK
Charles MacLean, Scottish whisky expert
Emiko Kaji, International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland
November 5th 2012

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2011 EDITION

WINNER : Jørgen Dons

Second : Krystof Hordina

FINALISTS

London, Connaught Bar, Rastislav Cerven, Connaught Hotel
Munich, die Goldene Bar, Maxim Kilian, Saloon
Stockholm, Operakällaren, Andrea Leon, independent
Madrid, O’Clock, Carlos Moreno, O’Clock Bar
Moscow, Bar Show, Bogdan Petrov, Brand bartender in charge of “2 chopsticks” japanese restaurant chain
Rome, Hotel de Russie, Daniele Gentili, Micca Club
Prague, Cafe Vitkov, Milos Danihelka, Hemingway Bar
Paris, LMDW Fine Spirits, Joseph Akhavan, La Conserverie
Amsterdam, The College Hotel, David Trampe, Barrelproof boutique
Varsovie, International Bartender & Sommelier School, Małgorzata Kolbowska, Snooker Space
Monaco, Fairmont Hotel, Julien Masson, Buddha Bar

JUDGES

Charles Schumann of Schumann’s Bar in Munich, Germany
Dave Broom, Whisky writer and journalist
Philippe Faure Brac, meilleur sommelier du monde
Emiko Kaji, International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Au Park Hyatt in Paris, France
November 21st 2011

VIDEO

PHOTOS

2010 EDITION

WINNER : Carlos Madriz

FINALISTS

Andreas Bergman, Bageriet Bar – Franzen & Lindeberg, Stockholm, SWEDEN
Antonio Parlapiano, Moma Cocktail Bar, Latina, ITALIA
Jordy Baques, CL Pau Claris 192, Barcelona, Spain
Eduard Ondráček, Hotel U prince / BLACK ANGEL’S BAR, Praha 1, Cezch Republic
Krischan Knoll, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Marcin Myslinski, Hyatt Group Andaz, London, UK
Miguel Santos, Crystal Lounge, Bruxelles, Belgique
Terkel Kleist, Salon 39 frederiksberg, Danemark
Carlos, L’hôtel, Paris, France

JUDGES

Mark Gillespie, WhiskyCast podcaster, USA
Carina Soto Velásquez, co-founder of Candelaria in Paris, France
Emiko Kaji, International Nikka Whisky representative, Japan

PLACE & DATE

Nomiya à Paris, France
November 27th 2010

PHOTOS