Arts & Leisure

Marion Cotillard-inspired drink wins Cointreau cocktail tilt

Posted on June 30, 2016

LA MAISON COINTREAU, a cocktail contest by orange liqueur brand Cointreau, called upon the muses to help participating bartenders create drinks.

First brought to the Philippines in 2014, the contest has produced some odd results: in 2014, the same contest inspired a cocktail made with balut (fertilized duck egg) broth, among other things, mixed with Cointreau.

This year, it took a refined turn, with bartenders from all over Metro Manila competing in Makati’s Belle & Dragon last week, with drinks inspired by Marion Cotillard, Marie Antoinette, Daft Punk, Rene Lacoste, Brigite Bardot, the Annecy Venetian Festival, and an East-meets-West theme about the meeting of French and Filipino cultures.

The bartenders were judged on presentation, story and relevance, technique, taste and flavor, and use of Cointreau.

The drink inspired by Marion Cotillard, called Gossip and made by Cedric Cello of Smith Butcher and Grill Room, won the top prize that night. Mr. Cello will go on to compete in the regionals for La Maison Cointreau in Phuket.

“The challenge [for] our bartenders is about raising the bar a bit in creativity, for them to come out with a cocktail, [and] for them to serve it in a real-life atmosphere,” said Joey Pineda, commercial manager for the Philippines for Rémy Cointreau International. Other brands under the company’s umbrella include Rémy Martin cognac, Mount Gay rum, and The Botanist gin.

“We’re looking for a drink that is, first of all, it has to exude that flavor of Cointreau, second, it should be able to be appreciated by a majority,” said Mr. Pineda.

As for using muses, he said, “With regards to Cointreau, it’s all about women: free-spirited women...cocktail culture is about people enjoying drinks, and mostly, it’s women... women, and [the] LGBT market,” he said. “Technically, yes,” he said, responding to a question if appealing to this market is a worldwide directive for the company. “It’s a worldwide direction for us to tap the women and the LGBT market.

“At the end of the day, both women and the LGBT like their drinks... they’re very specific to the drinks that they would like. And I would always think that Cointreau fits into the palate of these two markets,” he added. -- Joseph L. Garcia