What's a coffee competition without a little razzle dazzle? The 2015 World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship delivered both and surprised us with magic, shock and yes, even zazz. Sabers, siphons, science—and the secret sauce? A little Grand Marnier. The event “promotes innovative beverage recipes that showcase coffee and spirits in a competition format”—and boy does it ever! From a traditional Irish Coffee to wildly experimental cocktail concoctions, the Coffee In Good Spirits event runs the gamut of coffee + booze artistry.
Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself, as we recap the top six finalists of the world's booziest coffee competition, with coverage from Gothenburg, Sweden.
Sixth Place: Sang Ho Park, Square Mile Coffee Roasters, United Kingdom
Sang Ho Park knocked it out of the park during this year's World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship, advancing all the way to the finals. Sang Ho Park delivered the judges an Irish Coffee with a double cream from Nortiam Dairy in Kent using a Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Por cask finish whisky.
For his signature coffee cocktail (simply called “Hot”) Sang Ho Park blended coffee chaff tea with a Ron Zacapa rum reduction using raisins and dates. There was alo vapour clouds of cascara? Indeed, Sang Ho Park brought razzle and dazzle to the stage.
Want more Sang Ho Park? Check out this spotlight feature on his UK nationals win.
Fifth Place: Sang Moo Hyun, Maris, South Korea
We were over the moon for Sang Moo Hyun, who whipped up an Irish Coffee with Cragganmore Scotch whisky and Bacardi 151 (our kind of party!) followed by a second cocktail (cheekily named “Cocktail”) with Chambord, espresso, and a fancy box filled with dry ice. We love a little drama, and nothing brings drama quite like a poof of dry ice.
Fourth Place: Eduardo Affonso Scorsin, Lucca Caffes Espreciales, Brazil
Is that a sword? Eduardo Affonso Scorsin's performance was scorching! Siphon coffee was brewed for his Irish Coffee. For the cocktail (named “Yasmim”) Scorsin put together espresso, Grand Marnier, bitters, and a SWORD! Yes, to add some zazz to his jazz, Eduardo Affonso Scorsin sabered a bottle of Spumanti ASTI. Volunteers were ducking and running for cover, but Eduardo Affonso Scorsin is a professional, and the lid of the fizz was safely chained to the saber. Brilliant!
Third Place: Paul Ungureanu, Paul Ungureanu Consulting, Romania
Out with the old, in with the Paul Ungureanu! A Clever dripper was employed for his Irish Coffee. For the signature cocktail (lol-ishly dubbed “Selfie Compatible”) Paul Ungureanu used Tatratea tea liquor, maple syrup, espresso, and a little Grand Marnier.
Second Place: Ondrej Hurtik, Doubleshot, Czech Republic
Ondrej Hurtik brought the pain with a corking performance. Nikka From The Barrel Japanese whisky and coconut blossom sugar syrup flavored up his Irish Coffee real good, while his signature cocktail pumped up a refreshing acidity with Fentimans Rose Lemonade, Zufanek OMFG gin (from Czech Republic!) and iced filter coffee. And what's a coffee cocktail with a little Grand Marnier?
First Place: George Koustoumpardis, The Underdog, Greece
Pardon us, but George Koustoumpardis brought the house down in Gothenburg. Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey was the drug of choice for his Irish Coffee, and his cocktail was a delightful “Coffee Beer” that had audiences drooling! Read all about his winning performance (with recipes!) right here on Sprudge.
Photos by Eileen P. Kenny. Additional reporting by Anna Brones and Zachary Carlsen.