Cocktail competition: is it a real challenge to ourself?
The cocktail competition is that “funny moment” in which all of us bartenders are called to express our creativity, presenting cocktails recipes often dressed by fancy and colourful decorations shown on stage to a panel of judges… usually celebrities and well-known faces of the drink industry, who will decide by scores of decimals, who is better or who at that time is more deserving than others! lots of them are organized by brands that aim to put their liquor in the hands of us creators, all of this in order to expose the brand of the organizing company! An excellent form of marketing that has been going on for decades !!
Performance anxiety, our personality and the fear of disappointing others, can be the strictest judge!
I tried to work a lot on my Personality – In almost fifteen years of bartending, I participated in dozens of competitions, many of which I’ve won and some others, due to that beast called Performance anxiety, went drastically and I would say … ridiculously bad ! Like a week ago, when the “New York Distilling Company” an excellent whiskey and gin producer from Brooklyn, NY ; asking to create a cocktail based on Rye Whiskey produced by them. This must have been combined with two gin-based cocktails, but those were selected by luck amongst a number of about twenty classic cocktail recipes! after winning the semi-final I gained the chance to attend the very final!! the prize was high! I would win a trip to New York for a week!! Exciting I would say !!!
“I prepared a really captivating drink, I painted a nice story around it, I optimized it in the taste and balance of the ingredients, but I’ll talk about this later! What I want to dwell on is the reason for the defeat and the hard blow received! “My own fear and my personality made me fail badly!
Your personality is what makes you “yourself” – the combination of features that make you unique.
I have been very fascinated about books and blogs related to personality, self development – Your personality is what makes you “yourself” is a great quote – my generation seem to have been fallen in the sad topic of the stress, the mental fatigue, tension and fear of disappointing expectations! This can lead the best ones to make mistakes that turned off stage can seem elementary to any of us, this can lead to ridicule and embarrass the eyes of those who observe us and makes us seem beginners! This and much more, now more than ever can damage the personality of those who can not overcome many challenges life strikes at us, then lead us to even wrong elementary movements and to have complete mental blocks! What happened to me is nothing different than all this!
I cut my fingertip, I have mistaken an ingredient and I didn’t manage the speech! Could it be avoided?
Bravissimo Domenico! You’ll be thinking that all this could be avoided, I could study more, I could memorise my speech and I could repeat it all like a nursery rhyme! … and if I told you that the problem lies in the excessive preparation ?? what would you think ?? Sometimes being “too ready” can lead to great disappointments, the exposure of our discourse refined over time can have holes on all sides and ourselves ridiculing us! even going to tremble before the judges and even cutting a finger! it happened to me ! Yes it could have been avoided.
The techniques I think are worth to try!
(Let me give you some tips, after months studying the subject every day and try to improve)
- Do not try to be anyone else than you.
Be yourself with your imperfections! I must admit that on this point I would like to stop and write much more! I am sure that being yourself with your own imperfections is what makes us more successful, a little smudge can not penalize you, can make you human, what you are in reality! Do not try to copy the movements that are not your natural ones, trust your elegance and have a passion to declare to your judges that “you are excited because you care a lot” … show what’s underneath your shirt, your heart! Spontaneity distracts you from playing a role that you do not have to pretend !!
- Improve your technique of study and prepare your speech this way!
Prepare your speech with essential keywords, such as those of a journalistic article, repeat the keywords with which you want to capture to affect the interest of your judges, in everything you do, whatever job you do!
- Engage an eye contact with those in front of you.
let your heart speak to them stronger than your voice! The eye contact has its fundamental importance when trying to expose each theme, whether they are aimed at promoting a recipe for a winning cocktail as in my case, or aimed at the sale of a certain item, the visual contact allows anyone to to show our soul and our heart through the greatest form of impact, the look. A secure and fixed look in the eye can allow you to accentuate your presentation and arouses confidence in expression.
- The winning mentality does not always help you! too sure of ourselves?
It is precisely with the idea of having the best product of all, the perfect recipe and the discourse studied to perfection that leads us to be too sure of ourselves, leads us to be robotic, sometimes everything turns into what we know as “boomerang” effect! At the least unexpected we find ourselves stuck, the classic “unexpected question of the university exam” or the classic “out of the wave” … it is here that I was wrong, a minimum unexpected, the little cut on my left fingertip, made me bleed to such point to create panic and tension!
- The judges are usually three, know them and talk to one person at a time!
What is truly terrifying in public speaking is … the public!! An indistinct set of eyes that stare at you in silence, waiting for your speech: it almost seems like a horror movie! Stry to chat and break the ice with your judges at the start, as we would do in real life… know one by one who is about to check you and analyse you! play the game in advance! Maybe simply introduce yourself and break the ice by asking if they have ever visited the place you come from or if they love Manhattan with a twist and a few drops of fresh orange !!
- let people feel you’re happy to be there, they will love your creations!
Cocktail: BIG DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS!
50 ML RAGTIME RYE WHISKEY;
50 ML JARR PASSION FRUIT KOMBUCHA;
20 ML freshly squeezed LEMON JUICE;
10 ML fresh pressed GINGER JUICE;
15 ML D.O.M. Benedictine;
TOP OF PISTACHIO AND SPIRULINA CREAM!