The 5th season of Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championship (UBC) ended with a spectacular 2-day finale at the Fairfield by Marriot in Goa. Hosted over a month across the country the competition, designed to test “the skills that pay the bills”, saw more than 800 men and women bartenders from eight cities put their bartending skills to trial.
It comprised of demanding, time-bound rounds that quizzed and tested bartenders on their pouring, serving, nosing and cocktail preparation skills. Twenty regional winners competed for the ultimate prize and experienced local tours and interactive sessions on matters that are vital for any bartender.
Hailing from Pune, Viresh Mangrule won the coveted championship and an all-expenses paid trip to ‘Global Camp Monkey’, which will be attended by the best from the bartending industry globally. He was also awarded a set of gold-plated bartending tools, along with the signature champion’s ring.
Sharing his excitement, Viresh said, “I couldn’t have imagined a better finish to the competition! The various sessions organised by the platform were created with incredible detail and catered to furthering the bartending industry.”
“There are some amazing new skills that I picked up from global champions and my fellow contestants. I look forward to honing my skills further to become the best bartender,” he gushed.
Bartenders from Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai and Goa competed in the finale. Dhruv Sachdeva of Perch Wine & Coffee Bar (Mumbai) and Akshit Sharma of Tesouro (Goa) were the runners-up.
The first day kicked off with a feni farm tour and a distilling and foraging session by Hansel Vaz of Cazulo Premium Feni. It was followed by exhilarating, back-to-back bar takeovers in Monkey Shoulder’s traditional free-spirited, fun-loving style at The Den and Bar Tesouro.
Day two began with sessions on ‘Health & Wellness’, ‘Sustainability & Liquid Innovation’ with Monkey Shoulder Global Brand Ambassador, Joe Petch, and Thailand Brand Ambassador, Tao Phaothong.
Another session on ‘Developing Your Personal Digital Skills’ by Gaurav Sareen, India Brand Ambassador, brought insights shared by key social media influencers on-ground.
The high-energy grand finale of the Monkey Shoulder UBC 2022 was judged by the Monkey Shoulder Brand Ambassadors, along with Niks Anuman, Founder of Vice Versa Co. from Bangkok, and Rojanat Chareonsri, Group Beverage Director of #FindTheLockerRoom and #FindThePhotoBooth.
Joe said, “In an industry with constantly changing trends and consumer preferences, adaptability and innovation are key qualities to have as a bartending professional. The Monkey Shoulder UBC has been recognising bartenders from across the globe for over half a decade.”
“As a single malt that is young, approachable and light-hearted, we want to take the cocktail revolution to newer standards and appeal to the new age consumer who is seeking renewed drinking experiences every time they step out,” Joe added.
Gaurav said, “We are moved by the incredible turnout across India and beyond proud to introduce Viresh as the new champion, ready to take the global world by storm.”
The Monkey Shoulder UBC empowers the bartending community and truly lives up to its reputation of being a bartender’s favourite, he said, adding: “I couldn’t have seen a better run this year, and I’m excited to continue its legacy in the years to come.”