Bartender, Marv Cunningham, from Aura Nightclub Atlantis Group, Bahamas has won the 10th anniversary Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC).
Representing the Caribbean in the revered cocktail competition, Cunningham was crowned the champion after competing against eight bartenders from around the world in Trinidad & Tobago on February 22, 2020.
“I am thankful for the opportunity presented by the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge,” says Cunningham.
“To be honoured by such an esteemed judges panel against the top global competitors feels surreal! I’m excited to travel the world with Angostura and share Caribbean culinary cocktail concepts and the flavors of these islands with others. Serving as Global Brand Ambassador is my dream job.”
– Marv Cunningham – Winner, Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge
Cunningham has been bartending for over 20 years and is two-time winner of Taste of the Caribbean Best Caribbean Bartender award after defending his title in 2016 before returning to judge the competition in 2017. He navigated the rigorous competition, which included an interview and challenge to create two cocktails in seven minutes while demonstrating his knowledge of the brand and category, entertaining the competition’s judges including James Beard Award-winning beverage professional, Maxwell Britten, Christopher ‘Jillionaire’ Leacock, Eryn Reece, bar director at Banzarbar, Angostura chief brand educator, Raymond Edwards, and the 2018 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge winner, Raymond Letoa.
Explaining what set Marv Cunningham apart, head judge, Maxwell Britten comments: “He demonstrated dedication to his craft, outstanding storytelling capabilities, a personal magnetism and a heart-warming humility. He has a culinary sensibility that is increasingly important both in today’s cocktail world. His rum cocktail was probably the most unusual of the competition, I’d never considered adding cauliflower to a cocktail, but it really works.”
Cunningham’s winning rum cocktail ‘Mas Curried’ captures one of the most iconic Trini flavours –curry– and combines it with cauliflower, showcasing how it can complement the flavor profile of the iconic Angostura 7 Year Old Rum, with its rich maple, chocolate, honey, and toffee notes.
Cunningham has been awarded a cash prize of $10,000 and two-year contract as the Angostura Global Brand Ambassador for ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters, ANGOSTURA orange bitters, Angostura Rums and Amaro di ANGOSTURA, and will return to Trinidad & Tobago to serve as a judge in the next AGCC Global finals.
The AGCC took place ahead of the greatest show on earth, Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. The eight finalists competing alongside Cunningham were Agung Satria (Vietnam), Shana Rajahram (Trinidad & Tobago), Chad Lawrence (Canada), Gustavo Costa (Brazil), Mike Jordhoy (France), Simon Dacey (United Kingdom), Vasile Dorofeev (Dubai) and Rohan Massie (Australia).
“The work every single competitor put in today should be commended. They’ve invested so much time and effort into understanding our rich heritage and deconstructing the flavors of our ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters, ANGOSTURA orange bitters, rum and amaro portfolio.”
– Peter Sandström, CEO of Angostura
Rohan Massie from Hobart, Tasmania placed second while Agung Satria, from Vietnam was awarded third place. Cunningham whose specialty is culinary cocktails also received an award for Best Rum Cocktail in the competition for his Mas-Curried creation and Massie picked up the Best Amaro Cocktail Award for his Hidden Perfection cocktail.
Massie’s winning Amaro cocktail demonstrated his finely-honed technique and precisely combined Amaro di Angostura with banana wine, beetroot soda, a parsley tincture and ANGOSTURA orange bitters.
For more information about the competition, visit AngosturaGlobalCocktailChallenge.com.
BEST RUM COCKTAIL
by Marv Cunningham, Aura Nightclub Atlantis Group, The Bahamas
- 2 oz. Angostura 7 Year Old
- 1 oz. curry shrub
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 2 dashes of cauliflower puree
- 5 dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
- 2 dashes of ANGOSTURA orange bitters
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; Shake and double strain into an Old-Fashioned rocks glass over a single ice block. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel and a handcrafted traditional plantain chip.
BEST AMARO COCKTAIL
by Rohan Massie, Rude Boy, Tasmania, Australia
- 30 ml Amaro di Angostura
- 60 ml banana wine
- 20 ml beetroot soda
- 2 dashes parsley tincture
- 2 dashes ANGOSTURA orange bitters
Preparation: Keep all ingredients in fridge except for bitters and tincture. Combine ingredients in Pinot Noir wine glass over ice sphere. Stir briefly. Garnish with dehydrated beetroot crisp.