Rhuby – Pink your Drink – 2013 Stockholm

A select group of 8 female bartenders entered BJÖRK bar – by Marriott Courtyard, Stockholm – 17th October 2013 to be part of the second final of the charity Pink Your Drink.

The day kicked off with a quick briefing of the rules by Ylva Binder – and a few of the esteemed members from the panel of judges. On the judging panel one could find 2 female master distillers – Angela D’Orazio (Mackmyra) and Solveig Sommarström (previously V&S) – 2 Editors in Chief of food and trade magazines – Mona Johansson (Allt om Mat) and Annika Rådlund (Hotell och Restaurang), and last but not least 2 of the previous year finalists from London – Elsa Holmberg (BrassMonkey/Nottingham) and Jolene Cadwell (Papaji’s/Bristol).

The panel was divided up in three main criteria where the master distillers focused heavily on balance, taste and product combinations. The 2 Editors were more of a consumer panel where look, garnish and overall flavours, customer service were important. The bartender duo looked at all various elements while had a focus on product knowledge, technique and trade skills.

Some easy pointers were given by the two bartender judges, avid competition entrants and winners of many titles, to guide the girls forward and calm some nerves.

1. Product ingredients – state why you are using certain brands, talk the judges through the measures and what is specific to the product. Demonstrate product knowledge in regards to historical heritage or the taste profile to ensure people follow the selection. Show the bottle and let judges realise what it is.
2. If the drinks require a straw – don’t forget it.
3. The judging panel is like a consumer – customer service, smile and confidence is a key criteria for anybody. The serving and the atmosphere is vital as if being behind a bar.
4. Serve the drink with a napkin and not straight onto the bar.
5. Don’t touch ingredients, garnish or ice directly with your fingers – hygiene with drinks is equally as important as serving food.

To let all finalists know – The counting of points showed to be an interesting and fairly time-consuming effort for the panel of judges.

The duo standing for the bartending skills, technique and product heritage/knowledge had a very different opinion from the ‘consumer panel’ and with the two master distillers with a focus on balance and taste. With high opinions, girls wanting to hear results the temperature rose during the discussions.

The initial thought had been to simply count the totality of the votes. However we would then have had a few winners pending which camp one would be in of the three various scoring.

The only fair thing to do was to look at each and every drink per each contestant, look at consistency of delivery and the overall commentary. The judges ripped into each and every aspect of the girls and with opinions certainly not going hand in hand. We ended up with three finalists so closely next to one another in scoring they all three deserve a mention:

1. In regards of skillset and professional overall – Sara Garsten was a high contender together with Josefin from Urban Deli. Simply on technique Moa scored highly too.
2. Personal style both Sofie Larsson and Karolina Forsbäck had high scores. Sofie demonstrating higher levels of confidence and technique.

All girls came high in ranking and Christel Möller had an overall scoring by all three camps as high and very professional. The only remark failing her slightly was the bartender comment of being fairly safe in her choice and ingredients. A remark not a straight acceptance by the other groups and heated debate followed. Due to the high consistency in delivery we ended up with three names which all could have been fantastic contenders as the winner;

1. Christel Möller
2. Josefine Holmqvist
3. Sofie Larsson

The one aspect which tilted it into the lap of Sophie was her last drink concoction demonstrating a very personal style. She showed evidence of not simply following a bartender trend of classics, mature drinking profile – while instead allowed her own style to come through. Her skill and technique was consistent across the three various elements of the competition and the Miss Regina a fabulous drink with a great reason to be in the competition. We wish Regina Lund – the Swedish actress to whom Miss Regina was dedicated – a healthy recovery.
We raise the glasses and pinked drink to Sofie who showed excellence and innovation in the PYD 2013 – Stockholm Kungsholmen.

Again we bow and say thank you for the talents infront of the mixing table and behind. A powergroup of succesful women in a trade which does not normally promote women in these positions. Pink Your Drink aim to bring them into the lime-light they all deserve.

All female bartenders who are selected to the final will have their travel and accomodation arranged for. Marriott sponsors accomodation for the finalists having travelled far and Rhuby picks up any travel expense.

The competition has Three stages:
a – Mix you Rhuby submission
b – Make a Classic (which will be thrown at you from the judges just prior to entering the bar) with Rhuby
c – Your very own signature

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