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New Zealand Bartender Wins Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2018


Superstar bartender Ray Letoa of New Zealand has won the Grand Finals of the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge 2018. Second Place went to Johnny Mansoor of Lebanon and Third Place to Maximiliano Vallée Valletta of Canada.

According to Head Judge Mike Ryan, the top three were separated by the smallest of margins. Mr. Letoa won because his cocktails best “captured the vibrancy and exuberance of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago and of the House of Angostura®” he says.

Mr. Letoa was up against 10 other top bartenders from around the world in a fierce competition which saw the contenders create spectacular cocktails using world-famous ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, ANGOSTURA® orange bitters, Angostura® Rums and Amaro di ANGOSTURA®.

Challenged to make two cocktails in just seven minutes, Mr. Letoa made an Amaro Cocktail using Amaro di ANGOSTURA® called “Deliciousness” and a Rum Cocktail, using Angostura 1824® and two dashes each of ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters and ANGOSTURA® orange bitters, which he called “Old Flame.”

In addition to the title of Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge Champion, Mr. Letoa takes home US$10,000 and a two-year contract as Angostura’s® Global Brand Ambassador, representing ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, ANGOSTURA® orange bitters, Angostura® Rums and Amaro di ANGOSTURA®.

“Now I’m looking forward to meeting people and telling them about the ethos and the passion of the people that make Angostura’s® rums and bitters,” says Mr. Letoa, adding that of all the cocktail competitions he has entered the Angostura® Global Cocktail Challenge was “the toughest.”

Two other trophies were awarded: Best Amaro Cocktail, to Pedro Martinez of France, representing the European Union, and Best Rum Cocktail, to Johnny Mansoor of Lebanon, representing the Middle East and African Region.