Pretoria News

Cocktail champion bags Scottish holiday prize


A PRETORIA cocktail mixologist will celebrate his birthday in Scotland later this month, after winning a threenight holiday for mixing-up a topnotch cocktail.

Pretoria’s Thabiso Molonyama, 33, the founder of The Everyday Bar, joined bartenders from across the world in getting creative and sharing an Instagram post of their own signature Johnnie Walker Black Label cocktail, explaining why the spirit works perfectly in the serve.

With over 200 entries across 47 countries, Molonyama’s cocktail, named Nimbus Moon, was selected as the African winner, with three other winners from Asia and Australasia, South and Central America and Europe.

His winning serve is a balanced blend of Johnnie Walker Black Label, Aperol, orange bitters, lemon yuzu and cranberry juice.

His trip takes place next week, and will include a behind-the-scenes distillery tour; a visit to the Diageo Archives; a deconstructed tasting of Johnnie Walker Black Label with Dr Emma Walker, Johnnie Walker’s first female Master Blender; and, an array of experiences at the brand home, Johnnie Walker Princes Street.

This will include their most premium offering, the Whisky Makers’ Cellar tour, where exceptional whiskies can be tasted from the cask.

“I can’t believe I won. I’m still waiting for someone to tell me it’s a prank,” Molonyama said.

As for his winning cocktail, he explained that he wanted the woodiness and fruitiness of the Johnnie Walker Black Label to shine through.

“My aim was to showcase the versatility of Johnnie Walker Black Label; keeping it simple and yet complex in experience,” Molonyama said.

With international experience working and consulting in Ibiza, the US and Dubai, Molonyama first stumbled onto the cocktail scene 13 years ago, when he asked for a student job in a Rosebank cocktail bar.

“The bartenders were flaring and throwing bottles while making drinks. I asked for a job and was hired.”

Engaging with global brand ambassadors remains one of his favourite ways to learn new tricks.

“I’ve always found experience is a better teacher than theory.”

The competition was a first for Molonyama, who says he is usually on the consulting or teaching side of the bar.

“I am excited to see where the brand comes from and meet the people around who influence the products.

“I’m hoping to get South Africa more involved with the rest of the world.”

Entries were shortlisted and recreated by judges during a tasting session in Oslo to determine which entry used Johnnie Walker Black label in the most exciting yet balanced way.

The judging panel loved the perfect expression of simplicity “Nimbus Moon” offered, while at the same time playing into contemporary drink styling.

Molonyama’s cocktail was a perfect combination of tannin, citrus, sweetness and bold Johnnie Walker Black Label – it was a joy to recreate during the judging process and it tasted delicious, the judges said.

Johnnie Walker Black Label was first created over 100 years ago by the Walker family who took bold steps to make a significantly better Scotch Whisky – expertly blended.





African News Agency