Pierre Fajloun is old beyond his years. The 24 year old isn’t showing premature signs of aging, his boyish smile and complexion are very much a product of his youth.
Where his age becomes apparent is in the way he mixes drinks. I went and visited him to try the cocktail that won him the Australian leg of the Ketel One section of Diageo’s World Class series.
While I was in New Zealand at Cocktail World Cup, Vernon Chalker of the Gin Palace gave a talk about the martini. His rules were Two ingredients, three at the most, with a garnish that adds to the drink. This, then, is very much a martini.
The Whale is named for the large windmill that sits atop the Ketel One Distillery in Holland, and Pierre’s choice of glassware echoes its size perfectly. I didn’t ask Pierre for the measures, but hopefully my memory serves me well enough and you can have a crack at this at home.
50mls Ketel One, 10mls Lillet Blanc, 1 dash Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters. Stir over ice and pour into a licorice rimmed glass.
The licorice rim is made by combining fresh ground Fennel and Star Anise with Demerara Sugar. Pierre used lime juice to increase the adhesion on the rim.
Pierre has matched the aniseed note in the drink to make an intoxicating vodka martini. The two ingredients with the aromatising bitters are teased further by the garnish and the crunch of sweet demerara sugar as you lick your numbed lips clean is truly delightful. If all vodka martinis tasted like this one, I’d see the point in drinking them.
Definitely a drink worth tracking down…
The full press release is after the jump.
The search for the 2010 RESERVE World Class Bartender has begun, with Ivy bartender Pierre Fajloun taking out top honours for his Ketel One ® vodka martini creation, in what concludes the first exciting installment of the World Class cocktail competition.
Now in its second year of competition in Australia, World Class is a global competition created to recognise the incredible skill sets of bartenders across Australia and the world. Top bartenders from across the nation were asked to create a variation on the traditional vodka martini and were judged on creativity, taste and aroma. Extra points were awarded for drinks that complimented the flavors of the base spirit of Ketel One®, Ketel One Citroen Ô or Ciroc ® vodka.
The award for best RESERVE vodka martini was presented to Pierre Fajloun of Sydney’s Ivy, for his creation dubbed “The Whale” after the windmill that sits atop the Ketel One Nolet Distillery in Holland.
His elegant martini mixes Ketel One vodka and Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif, with a dash of grapefruit bitters and is served in a chilled martini glass rimmed with liquorice dust. The drink was chosen for its clever accentuation of Ketel One vodka, which Fajloun explains is his “choice of vodka, no matter how it’s served”. Fajloun adds that he “prefers Ketel One in a martini, with its citrus profile and subtle anise notes. It’s a bartender’s dream ingredient, thanks to its versatility”. Ketel One is crafted in small batches, imbuing the vodka with a crisp, refined flavor and silky-mouth feel – perfect for making the ultimate vodka martini.
This is only the first chapter of this year’s World Class competition, a global contest that celebrates the art of bartending in the search for the most innovative and expert bartender from across Australia to compete in the international final. More than 6000 bartenders across 24 countries worldwide will take part this year, with the final to take place in Athens, Greece in July. All will be vying for the coveted title currently held by reigning champion, Aristotelis Papadopoulos of Greece.
The next stage of the national World Class competition includes the Tanqueray ® No. TEN Ô Gin Awards and the RESERVE ® Dark Spirit Awards, which will take place over the next few months. The winning bartenders of each category will then vie for their chance to compete in the global final.