Sula Selections, the import arm of Sula Vineyards and one of India’s leading wine and spirit importers, launched the Beluga Cocktail Masters India 2018 in association with Beluga Noble Russian Vodka, the world’s most popular Russian vodka.
Agostino Schiavo, head bartender, Arts Club, London, is an alumnus of the Class of 2008 at Hotel and Catering School. He has over seven years of experience in the hospitality industry and was a finalist at Beluga Signature Bartender 2016, held in the United Kingdom.
The mixologist will host a three-city masterclass in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The Delhi session will take place on August 21, 2018 at ElectricRoom, Lodhi; the Bengaluru session will take place the following day at Hype, Shangrila. Mumbai will host a session on August 23 at Ark, Courtyard by Marriott. The finale will also take place in Mumbai on October 25. The venue is yet to be confirmed.
At these sessions, 150 bartenders across the country will align themselves to put together interesting cocktails made with Beluga, learn global tricks about the art of bartending and acquire international experience.
Sula Vineyards is not just the leading wine producer and exporter of wine in India, but is also one of the leading wine and spirits importer. Sula Selections comprises an extensive list of leading and notable wine and spirits brands from across the globe.
Beluga Vodka made its first appearance in 2009, and has quickly gained a reputation for being an exceptionally clean and pure vodka. A classic Russian vodka, it is fresh and crisp with a little bit of grain flavour. Beluga is made, unusually, with barley malt spirit, and is very lightly flavoured with honey and extracts of oat and milk thistle.
Kenneth Pritchard, senior vice-president, marketing and international sales, Sula Vineyards said, “We are delighted to launch the Beluga Masters India programme. This is a great opportunity for India’s top mixologists to get to know this great brand and, of course, to show us what they can do with authentic Russian vodka and exciting Indian flavours.”
“Not only will there be an opportunity for the winner to visit Russia, the home of Beluga, but also to have their creations made available across India. We look forward to welcoming Schiavo to India and to welcoming India’s best bartenders to our masterclasses,” he added.
“I would like to thank the Beluga team for their support in helping to launch this programme, and we hope that this will be the precursor to India joining the Beluga Global Masters Programme in coming years,” he added.
Post the masterclasses, 20 of the 50 bartenders in each city will be selected to promote Beluga in a personal capacity and using their social media platforms.
The bartenders will be given one week to battle it out as they will need to create a unique cocktail using Beluga Vodka and record a video showcasing it.
The top 10 cocktails will be selected amongst 150 bartenders. The ten finalists will then make their way to Mumbai for the grand finale as they fight it out to be the Beluga Cocktail India champion and win an all-inclusive weekend trip to Moscow.
The contestants will face two challenges in the grand finale. First being of making their original unique cocktail with Beluga Vodka, and the final challenge will be a mystery box, consisting of ingredients that the bartenders will have to use with Beluga Vodka to make a brand new cocktail on the spot.