This Ponsonby Mixologist Just Won a Global Rum Competition
On a Caribbean volcano, no less.
Your average New Zealander is a dab hand at whipping up drinks. Though while your homemade mix of red wine and Coke might be 'world famous', there's no one better in the mixology biz than Auckland's own Jason Rosen— the reigning grand champion of the 2017 Trois Rivieres Rhumbellion.
Held on Caribbean volcano, Martinique, the competition was inspired by the rebel origins of rum, challenging the world's best bartenders to transform the 'drink of sailors' into something more majestical than 'the drink of sailors'.
Rosen, the owner of Ponsonby haunts Mea Culpa and Revelry, beat out over 200 bartenders from 10 different countries in the second annual event. He secured his place in the grand final by mastering a mystery food pairing challenge and concocting a drink that utilises the odd combination of Epic Armageddon Indian Pale Ale and Gunpowder Rum.
For the final itself, Rosen battled it out against six others bartenders in a secret quiz, a surprise punch making challenge and through the creation of three signature drinks. The beverages that saw him take out the title of 2017 Rhumbellion Champion were: 'Zouk Zouk', a champagne and Agricole Blanc cocktail; 'The Usual Line Up', a tribute to classic cocktails using aged rum, Aperol, sherry, vermouth, and pineapple vinegar; and a twist on an old fashioned Milk Punch.
As Rosen comes down from the win and makes his way back home, the winning drinks will be up for the tasting at both Mea Culpa and Revelry. Stay tuned for more information.