Last month, the winners for the best long and short drinks with sake were chosen in the finals of the first Île Four Challenge in Berlin's trendy bar Le Croco Bleu. Marian Krause from Spirits in Cologne won for his long drink Konami and his short drink Elefu. Second place was awarded to the YUZU short drink Swiss Geisha and also the long drink of Robert Mischko, bartender of the Clouds Bar in Zurich. André Engemann from Shepheard's Bar in Cologne came third with his drinks Play Hard and Kaumstoff, Edelstoff. The winners were rewarded with prizes worth over €1,800.

The expert jury consisted of Berlin bartenders Gregor Scholl and Ricardo Albrecht, Sanjay Cachemaille of Barworkz Beverage Consulting and Cocktailian, as well as Markus Orschiedt, editor of Mixology magazine. There were also two special prizes: The Best Drink award for the best taste, shared by André Engemann and Marian Krause for their creations, and the prize called Sake Goes West for the most convincing combination of sake with western drink tradition, won by Rómulo dos Santos of Crown Hall Bar in Zurich for his drink Dark Side.

A total of 10 finalists presented their long and short drink creations with Île Four Premium Sake and Sake YUZU. The Sake drinks of the finalists had already outrivalled the competition in the five preliminary rounds in Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Hamburg and Zurich. The highest level of skill was demanded by bartenders and all participants were professional bartenders from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who had at least one year of professional experience.

The unique sakes of Île Four are standard in every upmarket bar as it stands for quality at the highest level and no artificial additives are used. The only ingredients are sake rice, water, yeast and koji. This noble Japanese Premium Sake is produced solely by an experienced master brewer, creating a finely nuanced beverage, which is refined with Japanese fruits such as yuzu in the Île Four Fruit Sake series. Contrary to the traditional hot drink you can enjoy Premium and YUZU Sake ice cold. Thus, the complex depth of flavour can develop. The unique flavours of sake also make it an ideal cocktail ingredient.

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