A NELSON Mandela Bay businessman who is a competitive bartender and "mixologist" is jetting off to Mauritius this week to represent South Africa in an international cocktail competition on Wednesday.
Managing director of the Eastern Cape branch of the Bartenders Workshop, Denzel Heath, will compete along with Johan Blaauw, of Cape Town, for the top prize in the Pink Pigeon Rum Cocktail competition.
The pair will compete as a team against others from the United Kingdom, Mauritius and the United States.
During their stay in Mauritius the teams will tour Vanilla fields and the Medine Distillery.
Heath, 28, has also just completed the second heat of the Bols Around the World competition.
Heath said he became interested in the art of mixing drinks and flipping bottles when he was living in New York and then in Florida.
"I returned six years ago to start my business, Shake and Strain Liquid catering, but then moved to Johannesburg and bought into the Bartenders Workshop franchise," he said.
"I now own the branch here in PE. I am happy to be back because I missed my friends and family."
Heath said he had competed in 10 competitions and that the judging was very strict.
Mixologists also needed to be aware of global trends, he said.
Mixologists could build a drink from a base spirit, using their knowledge of the flavour wheel, he said.
Vintage was a huge trend right now with drinks from the 1700s to 1900s being all the rage, Heath said.
"Old originals like gin are very big right now and mixing with a classic shaker is also popular."