Gold Top Cup final 2018

489BlackCow180906Matt Austin.jpg

Gold Top Cup final
Black Cow Vodka Distillery
- - -
September 2018

2BlackCow180906Matt Austin.jpg

International bartender Bannie Kang has won our Gold Top Cup 2018 – a zero waste cocktail and food pairing theme competition. This year we received entries from 5 different countries and some of the world’s best bars.

Bannie, head craftsman at the well-known Fairmont Singapore hotel’s Anti:Dote Bar, took the title with her winning cocktail ‘The Thinker’, combining Black Cow, fermented banana water, lemon juice and Palo Cortado Sherry which was paired with a Banana Soufflé. 

Her cocktail and accompanying dish epitomised the ‘zero waste’ theme, she carefully and thoughtfully linked her dish and cocktail – using the most discarded item in her bar, the banana.

As Bannie describes, “In Korea, my home country, we have a long rich history of fermentation in cuisine, which goes back thousands of years. For my cocktail, ‘The Thinker’, I used my grandmother’s recipe, more often used for citrus and herbs, to produce a banana fermentation. This is achieved by layering waste bananas, lemons and sugar. After 5 days, the fermentation has progressed and you are left with a clear liquid banana enzyme. It is the Korean tradition to use this fruit enzyme instead of sugar. Next, I created banana bitters from the same enzyme, with the addition of angostura for my accompanying soufflé. After this, my soufflé and the banana bitters were created from the waste left over after the enzyme was strained off.”

Bannie added “I was inspired to call this cocktail ‘The Thinker’ as I am motivated by using the by-product in its entirety, to eliminate waste.”

This year’s judging panel were Jon Almond from Delightful Drinks, renowned Dorset-based chef Leslie Waters, Black Cow founders Jason Barber and Paul Archard and last year’s competition winner, Erica Brown from the US. Bannie’s pairing impressed the judges by cleverly incorporating the no-waste theme and Black Cow brand ethos, using just four ingredients for the pairing which combined both sweet and sour flavours.

The Black Cow Gold Top Cup 2018 Final was held at the Black Cow Distillery, Bar and Kitchen in West Dorset. Competitors were tasked with developing a food dish and cocktail pairing, with the cocktail using the by-product of the dish. 

Finalists were selected from some of the world’s top bars including from the UK James Hawkins from Sexy Fish, Sam Wood from Pintura, Russell Hayward from the Conduit, Phillip Hayward from Dusk till Pawn. From Canada, Martha Sobiesiak, from LA, John Garner and from Hong Kong, Umesh Gurung.

Winner Bannie was awarded a $1,000 cash prize and a handmade pottery Gold Top Cup made by renowned Dorset potter, Miranda Berrow. 

Jemma Moran