ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge North American Finals

October 23, 2019

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In collaboration with THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA®. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Taste of Koko!

Angostura cocktail competition

Hello from the ANGOSTURA® Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) at The Eleanor in Austin, Texas! 

The HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA has been on a rigorous search for its next Global Brand Ambassador through the ANGOSTURA Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC), a bi-annual worldwide bartender competition that began in 2001 and is now in the midst of its tenth competition.

I had the opportunity to attend the North American competition following the first weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival and watched as five bartenders flaunted their cocktailing skills. At the event, each competitor created two custom cocktails, enhanced by the essential ingredient that changes everything: ANGOSTURA® bitters.

SEE ALSO: How To Make A Mojito


Angostura cocktail competition

THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA, based in Trinidad and Tobago, has been blending bitters for more than 190 years and producing fine rums for 130 years, mastering the art of aging and blending.

ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters is an essential ingredient in contemporary cocktails and spirit-free beverages as well as the classics (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Pink Gin, and Mai Tea).

Let’s meet the bartenders and the delicious cocktails they crafted up!


David Allen

David Allen of Covina // New York

As the head bartender at Corvina in New York, David has mastered the art of cocktail crafting and hospitality. In fact, the bar program he oversees was recently nominated as one of the “Top 10 Hotel Bars in the USA East Region” by Tales of the Cocktail.

7 Year Sizzle

  • 2 ANGOSTURA® 7 Year Old Rum
  • 1 oz cinnamon-infused honey syrup
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • 5 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA® orange bitters

Method: In a pilsner glass, add ANGOSTURA orange bitters, lime juice, cinnamon honey syrup and ANGOSTURA 7 Year Rum. Fill glass ¾ full of pebble ice. Swizzle for 12 seconds. Top off the glass with more pebble ice and five dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters. Garnish with a mint sprig, expressed grapefruit peel and grated nutmeg.


Jarred Craven

Jarred Craven of Drink Well // Austin, Texas

As a bartender at the acclaimed Drink Well in Austin, Texas, Jarred is well known in the area for his cocktail-crafting skills.

Sipper Club

  • .75 oz ANGOSTURA® 1919 Rum
  • .75 oz ANGOSTURA 7 Year Old Rum
  • .5 oz Amero di ANGOSTURA®
  • .5 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • .25 oz banana liqueur
  • 5 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters

Method: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a fresh orange peel.


Lance Bowman

Lance Bowman of Monnie Burke’s // Chicago, Illinois

As the beverage director at Monnie Burke’s in Chicago, Illinois, Lance has sharpened his slighting, pouring and cocktail-crafting skills to excellence – so much so that Esquire named a bar under his supervision one of the “Best 18.”

Love of Tea-ki

  • 2 oz ANGOSTURA 7-Year-Old Rum
  • .75 oz Falernum
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz chamomile & sage stem syrup
  • .25 oz yuzu juice
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA orange bitters

Method: Chill a double Old Fashioned glass. Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice and shake. Double strain over a large ice cube in the chilled glass. Garnish with candied kumquat and pineapple on a gold skewer and sage leaves in a glass.


Jared Schmidt

Jared Schmidt of Orchard Room // Kelowna, Canada

Jared is a bartender at Orchard Room in Kelowna, Canada, where he designs and executes the exceptional beverage menu.

Bitter End

  • 1.5 oz Amero di ANGOSTURA
  • .5 oz ginger liqueur
  • .5 yellow chartreuse
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • .75 oz tamarind syrup
  • 2 dashes ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters

Method: In a shaker tin, combine all alcohol, juice and bitters. Shake and strain into a tiki glass. Fill with crushed ice until full. Garnish with a mint sprig, squeezed lime husk and pineapple leaves. Serve with a metal straw.


Chad Lawrence

Chad Lawrence of Comery Black // Calgary, Canada

Chad is the talented bar manager at Comery Black in Calgary, Canada, where he hand-curates cocktail lists and manages the service staff. Chad’s Jaguar’s Breath recipe will remain a secret while he fine tunes it for (spoiler alert!) the Global Competition.

Lance Bowman

Lance Bowman won the fan vote – I loved his Love of Tea-ki cocktail!


Chad Lawrence

Chad Lawrence was crowned the North American champion and will make his way to the island of Trinidad – where The HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA has long produced its legendary bitters, rums and amaro – to compete against regional winners from around the world for the Global Brand Ambassador title during the island’s 2020 Carnival celebration in February!

I had a wonderful time sipping cocktails at the AGCC North American Finals. Each concoction highlighted the versatility of the iconic bitters and kept my taste buds wanting more! Congratulations, Chad!


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.