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Hong Kong’s top mixologists compete to create new signature drink for Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific Airways today brought together some of Hong Kong’s top mixologists to take part in a unique signature drink competition. The aim was to select a new drink to be served to First and Business Class passengers across the airline’s global network from the second half of this year.

Cathay Pacific is committed to offering the highest quality products and services to its passengers, both on the ground and inflight. The airline has worked hard to enhance its offering to customers – from lounges and aircraft cabins to inflight entertainment and the food and drink served onboard – and its professional team continually strives to delight passengers with innovative new catering ideas.

Recognising their professionalism and experience in interacting with passengers, the airline has been working with its cabin crew – named the world’s best in the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards™ – to introduce a new signature drink for customers.

Ten mixologists from some of Hong Kong’s leading restaurants and bars were invited to present unique non-alcoholic drinks for cabin crew at a tasting event held at Cathay Pacific’s headquarters in early March. More than 1,400 cabin crew cast their votes to determine the five final contestants, who then had a fixed time to prepare their drinks for the judging panel at today’s final.

The judging panel, which was chaired by Cathay Pacific’s Director Service Delivery Philippe de Gentile-Williams, included senior managers from the airline, President of the Hong Kong Bartenders Association (HKBA) which is also the supporting organisation for the competition, a top tier Marco Polo Club member and one of Cathay Pacific’s Senior Pursers.

Each drink was assessed on taste, presentation, ease of preparation and how well it matched the unique image of the airline. At the end of a hard-fought competition, the winning drink was declared to be a tantalising blend of passion fruit, lemongrass and apple juice created by Marlo Guevarra from The Upper House.  Members of Cathay Pacific’s cabin crew team will get the chance to give the winning cocktail a name that best represents its uniqueness, before preparing and serving the new signature drink to passengers.

Speaking at today’s event, Mr de Gentile-Williams said: “At Cathay Pacific, we are committed to offering high quality products and services to our passengers, both on the ground and inflight. This competition is a demonstration of the great effort made by our catering team, and also by our cabin crew to find the right drinks, create an appropriate name, and serve our passengers onboard. It’s also been great fun. I’d like to thank all today’s contestants for their creativity and imagination, and my congratulations go to the winner for coming up with this delicious creation. We very much look forward to serving this drink to our passengers soon.”

Winning mixologist Marlo Guevarra said after claiming the title, “The Upper House is thrilled to participate and have won the competition.  We are delighted that Cathay Pacific passengers can enjoy The Upper House experience not only on the ground but in the air as well.”

Cathay Pacific joined together with the HKBA to hold the airline’s inaugural cocktail competition in 2001, repeating the exercise again in 2007. The winning drinks from those competitions – “Cathay Delight”, “Pacific Sunrise”, “Cloud 9” and “Oriental Breeze” – are still being enjoyed by thousands of Cathay Pacific passengers every week and will remain on the drinks list together with the new winning creation.