“I went into the competition thinking that I would win, but after my performance I felt that I would be happy if I got to fifth place,” Vitězslav Cirok, a bartender and bar manager at the Grandhotel Pupp, admitted to Novinká that the second place for him was a pleasant surprise.
For the Cirok competition, he prepared a cocktail with the characteristic name Happiness (translated as happiness), in which he mixed syrup from Nepalese pepper with a strong citrus taste and also the now half-forgotten quince: a fruit with a sweet and sour taste that smells like citrus or vanilla.
“I was inspired by accelerated time, so I wanted to mix something that emphasizes modern times and a healthy lifestyle. The point of the drink is about the definition of happiness as the harmony of body, soul and mind. So I found ingredients that each represent one of those elements,” Cirok explained, adding that he devised the cocktail in two weeks.
Cirok originally studied electrical engineering, thanks to his interest in working with people he started working at a bar seventeen years ago and gradually worked his way up to become one of the top bartenders in the country. He has been working at Hotel Pupp for two years. “Working here is a little dream come true for me,” added the bartender.
Happiness cocktail recipe
- Pour all the ingredients except the Mattoni into a mixing glass and mix carefully.
- Pour Mattoni sparkling wine into a glass with ice, pour over the mixture from the mixing glass and garnish.
Happiness cocktail by Czech bartender Vítězslav Cirok.
Photo: Mattoni Grand Drink
First place went to an Austrian
First place after several years of participation in the competition this year was taken by the Austrian Stefan Haneder, who mixed a cocktail called The 5 Elements.
“I have already participated in the Mattoni Grand Drink four times. I have always placed second in the last two competitions, so I have been training and preparing hard to reach first place. And now it finally happened. I am very happy! I will definitely celebrate it properly,” he said after the competition.
The competition is unique in the world in that it focuses on mixing non-alcoholic drinks. The first year took place 24 years ago, and for the past eleven years it has been held as an official international competition under the auspices of the World Bartenders Association.
“Every year, the most elite bartenders from around the world participate in the Mattoni Grand Drink with original cocktails of the highest possible quality. This year was no exception,” added Aleš Svojanovský, president of the Czech Bartenders’ Association, adding that a total of seventeen bartenders from all over the world participated in this year’s final in Karlovy Vary.