World Cocktail Championships

The world’s master list of cocktails is curated and published each year by the IBA, the International Bartender’s Association, which is an international competition in bar tending, focusing on cocktails. It is known as the IBA Official Cocktail List, and is used for the purposes of the World Cocktail Championships, which are held annually at varying locations around the world. While the IBA Official Cocktail List is not intended to be comprehensive, or even necessarily cover even every somewhat common cocktail, it is a list of the most popular and well known cocktails that are served in cocktail bars around the world. The International Bartender’s Association divides the cocktails on the list into three categories: the ‘Unforgettables’, such as the martini, gin fizz, the Manhattan, the daiquiri, the Old Fashioned, the whiskey sour, and other classic cocktails; the ‘Contemporary Classics’, which are almost equally well known (or in some cases better known) than the cocktails on the Unforgettables list but of more recent devising, such as the cosmopolitan, the Singapore Sling, the mimosa, and the Bloody Mary; and the newest cocktails, the ‘New Era Drinks’ such as the Vesper, the Pisco Sour, and the B-52.

The International Bartender’s Association additionally, for the purposes of its contests, provides four categories of cocktail: the pre dinner cocktail, the after dinner cocktail, the fancy cocktail, and the long drink. The International Bartender’s Association has a listing of the definitive recipes for each of its official cocktails, but these are not necessarily followed around the world in many cocktail bars: rather, they are intended for the purpose of the World Cocktail Championships competition. Separate rules exist for each category of drink, in addition to some over arching general rules. For example, none of the cocktails at an International Bartender’s Association competition event can contain more than seven hundred millilitres (specified by the IBA as ‘seventy centilitres’) of alcohol, including a single base spirit and other alcoholic components added to the drink for flavouring purposes. For pre dinner cocktails only, no more than two hundred millilitres (expressed as ‘twenty centilitres’) of a specified list of sweet ingredients is permitted.

The International Bartender’s Association was established in the year nineteen fifty one in a hotel in Torquay, the seaside resort in the southern English borough of Torbay. The most recent World Cocktail Championships event was held in Prague, and bar tenders from mobile cocktail bar Melbourne in five countries won prizes for each category, as well as the prize for overall best cocktail of the year. These winners include Greta Gronholm, of Finland, who was the overall winner of the 2013 event; Gkovatsos Panagiotis, who won the long drink category for Greece; Deirdre Byrne, who won the fancy cocktail category for Ireland; Naomi Takahashi, who won the before dinner cocktail category for Japan; and Irina Srefandi, who won the after dinner cocktail category for Cyprus.