Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition 2014

The inaugural Choya Umeshu cocktail competition was held last night at The Owl House in Darlinghurst with Igor Pachi of Assembly Bar taking out the title.

Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition
Igor Pachi

In second place was Simon Audas of Sokyo at the Star followed by Dan Jones of the Roosevelt in third spot.

Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition
L-R: Dan Jones, Igor Pachi, Simon Audas

Ten contestants from Sydney bars competed for the $1000 prize and bragging title with Travis Kitching (Kubricks), Dusan Barczi (Hurricane’s Grill), Nilo Behets (Chip off the Old Block), Nando Imamura (Spice Cellar), Stephen Byrne (Uncle Ming’s Bar), Ace (Mr Moustache) and Abs (Niji Restaurant & Bar).

Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition
The Contestants with Choya Representatives

Judging the bartender competition were Amir Halpert (The Owl House), Shinji Inaba (Choya, Japan), Jackie MacMillan (Alternative Media) and Corinne Mossati (Gourmantic).

Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition
L-R: Shinji Inaba, Corinne Mossati, Amir Halpert and Jackie MacMillan

Igor Pachi received $1000 for his cocktail, The Yume, meaning the “Dream Cocktail”, which impressed the judges using a technique that fuses the traditional Japanese tea ceremony with western bartending.

Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition
The Yume

To make The Yume, Igor added 45 ml Choya, 20 ml Hakushu 12 YO, 10 ml pineapple vinegar, 5 ml lemon juice and pinch of macha to a traditional Japanese bowl, mixed it with a bamboo whisk and rock rolled it with a large ice block for 10 seconds using the Choya bottle as a shaker. The cocktail was served in a tea cup with lemon thyme.

Igor Pachi has recently won the London No 3 Gin Fizz cocktail competition.

Choya Umeshu (15% ABV) is a Japanese liqueur made from unripe Ume fruit (plum) that is steeped in Shochu and sugar and the competition marked its launch into the Australian market.

The Choya Umeshu Cocktail Competition was held on Monday 15 September 2014.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.