LITTLE BAY–St. Maarten contestant Paul Peterson won Saturday night’s Regional Challenge, earning him the opportunity to represent St. Maarten at the prestigious Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2016, as well as a cash prize.
The entire room, tuned in and quiet during the creative drink preparation sessions by all five regional contestants, exploded with cheers at the announcement of the home-town winner.
The competition was tight, with an especially close call between second and third place winners Daniel Thomas of Antigua and Barbuda, and Phillip Antoine of Barbados with a difference of just two points. Fellow contestants, also very well received by the crowd and three judges, were Melisa Nicholas of Grenada and King Augustus Fields of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Contestants were challenged to make one rum-based cocktail and one freestyle cocktail in the space of seven minutes, which were sampled by the judging panel as well as the audience.
Judges Daniyel Jones and Raymond Edwards, both representatives of the House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago, along with St. Maarten-based entrepreneur John Caputo, judged the five on appearance, aroma, taste and presentation.
Contestants showed off their skills using a myriad of flavours, colours, textures and temperatures. The creative ingredients included plantain syrup, mint-infused whipped cream and bush tea. Naturally, all participants used Angostura bitters, or Angostura’s newer orange-flavoured bitters.
Peterson ultimately earned the most points with a fig-flavoured rum-based cocktail topped with “caviar” made of honey and Angostura bitters. His second, freestyle cocktail was a spicy mango- and vanilla-flavoured cocktail topped with a coconut cream float.
The drinks earned him 261 points, followed by Thomas with 250 and Antoine with 248 points. These second and third placers both used tea in their preparations.
Peterson won US $3,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Trinidad and Tobago to represent St. Maarten at the Global Challenge of 2016, which takes place during Carnival. He won the last local challenge in 2013 as well, and came in third at the regional challenge in Barbados later that year.
The winner of the Global Challenge will receive $10,000 and become a global brand ambassador for two years.
Popular radio personality Gee Money was master of ceremonies for the evening, hosted by local Angostura distributor Antillean Liquors at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.
Source: The Daily Herald Peterson wins, on to Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2016