On April 23rd 2012,  the Black Russian cocktail challenge was held at the Atomium. Following the technical and gustative juries’ deliberations, 3 barmen were selected as winners from the 10 candidates representing Brussels’ hotels.

Organised by the BHA in partnership with the Belgian Association of Barmen (UBB), Food 4 Thought (& Drinks for Fun), the Atomium asbl and with the support of VISITBRUSSELS, this challenge invited the barmen from Brussels hotels to reinvent one of the great classic cocktails, the ‘Black Russian’. An impressive feat by the barmen who blew the juries away with their well executed cocktails that mixed various tastes and flavours.

Invented in 1949 by Gustave Tops, a barman from Brussels, the ‘Black Russian’ cocktail mixes vodka and coffee liquor and has become a must-have on cocktail menus around the world. It was first made in Brussels in honor of the United States of America ambassador to Luxemburg, Pearl Masta, and takes its name from the land of vodka, Russia and from the color of coffee liquor, in memory of the dark hours of the Cold War.

The grand winner of this challenge is the Hotel Amigo, represented by Julien Duvivier who made the ‘Belgium Black Time’ cocktail.He won a trophy, a night for two in a hip hotel in Europe and several products from the UBB. The association also gave several prizes to the second (Ricardo Antunes from Hotel Manos) and third winners (Logan Maury from the Hotel Martin’s Château du Lac). The prize giving ceremony took place in presence of the Minister-President of the COCOF, Christos Doulkeridis.

Following the success of this event, the BHA is proud of the attention granted to this Brussels specialty that will no doubt have more time to shine during the year of gastronomy, Brusselicious 2012.

The recipe that won the challenge : Belgium Black Time Cocktail


2cl of coffee

1 cl of Apple pie syrup

1cl of Marie Brizard peach cream

2cl of vodka, Ketel 1


Mix all ingredients in a shaker and serve in a Cancun de Durobor glass.

Enjoy and congratulations Julien.

Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

President, International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

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