Meet the Girls
Sara Garsten, Restaurang Lokal, Stockholm
First up on stage was Sara Garsten from Restaurang Lokal – STOCKHOLM
With a tall bar fixture at BJÖRK the petit Sara was challenged. In addition a bad flu made talking loud and clear a major effort which unfortunately led to some lower scores. Something slightly unfair but hard to ignore as without hearing her reason for ingredient selection, product knowledge and overall customer information the judges could not give her full points. As the founder of the brand I would have given her even higher scores as her commitment coming in and competing although not 100% – shows real dedication and professionalism for the cause.
The highest scores came for bartending skills and technique. Elsa and Jolene were in agreement she had all what was necessary being a great bartender – making her very employable at any top establishment.
One needs to mention Sara took over the bar as if she owned it and with real confidence started making up the first concoction – the Cocktail which gained her the entry – containing Rhuby, rhubarb liqueur – The Nightingale.
Although she was nervous she remained in control and her drink came together efficiently and with high level of bartending skills. Being the first up the judges hadn’t got into the element and the atmosphere was slightly tense and nervous for all.
3,5cl Beefeater Gin
2,5cl Rhuby Liqueur
1,5cl Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1cl Raspberry Syrup
Garnish: Pink Ribbon
The garnish was clever and simple with an elegant pink bow made on the foam, served in a cupette glass. Use of egg white gave a majestic texture and the gin cut through the sweetness in rhuby to highlight the rhubarb notes even more. Citrus to add to the natural tartness in the rhubarb.
Sara commented with a slight shake in her hand; ‘this was certainly easier to do in my kitchen at home’. The first laugh from the panel and the ice was broken, allowing the real temperature of competition to creep in.
PYD 2013 had had the first cocktail presented.
Her second concoction was given there and then – a classic with a Rhuby twist. Sara got the French 75. This stage of the competition is created to see how fast the bartenders can think on their feet under pressure, know the classic, demonstrate product knowledge and simply add a twist adding Rhuby to the concoction. None of the contenders were given the drink prior so it was sheer spontaneity on the floor in front of the esteemed panel of judges.
With high knowledge of what was required she went on creating and naming her new Classic with a Rhuby twist – French Rhuby.
Each bartender was given a third element to create their own signature cocktail showcasing who they as a professional is – at their best. A signature representing personality, what they like themselves and what clearly shows off their skills. The last submission did not need to contain Rhuby. Sara demonstrated with her signature Don Basile No 2 a complex but yet easy to make cocktail.
Overall Sara showed great depth of bartending skill and was a clear favourite by the criteria from the bartending duo – skills, technique and product knowledge. The areas the panel of judges were slightly harsher was the lack of showcasing the bottles/products and brands while giving a clear description why the various ingredients had been used and the reason for the measures and selection.
Sara had been first up, the tense sensation of competition crept in around the bar where the other finalists, media and judges were placed. Everybody wanted to win and there would only be one girl at the top with a room full of talent. Out of many applicants the 8 came from various corners of Sweden, representing personal style and creativity to even be invited to the competition.