ITE student's bottled up dream of beach holiday inspires winning mocktail

Ms Suwimon Lee said she came up with the drink after dreaming of a long-awaited beach vacation. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The yearning for a holiday during the Covid-19 pandemic inspired ITE College West student Suwimon Lee to rustle up a mocktail that won the first prize in a contest last Friday (Nov 19).

Called Summer Vacation, the winning drink is made mostly with pineapple juice, topped up with Japanese yuzu citrus, ginger and lime juices. It was garnished with a raspberry, mint leaves and a ribbon of cucumber.

It helped Ms Lee, 18, a student at the college's School of Hospitality, emerge tops in the battle against 10 other students.

Drinks made by the students were judged on taste, colour, creativity and how they looked. Preparation techniques and presentation skills were also taken into account.

Ms Lee said she came up with the drink after dreaming of a long-awaited beach vacation because she misses travelling, her favourite hobby.

Leisure travel has come to a standstill for about two years now, after the Covid-19 global pandemic struck in early 2020.

On her win, Ms Lee said: "I was shocked and did not expect to win. Everybody did so well and it was really competitive."

She received $500 in cash for winning the top prize. The second prize was won by Mr Ruben Lim Jia De, 17, and the third prize went to Mr Yamada Keiji, 21. A popular choice award based on audience votes went to Ms Britney Ong Xin Hui, 19.

All the students' winning recipes will be included in the F&N 2021 recipe catalogue.

This year, the panel of judges was made up of industry experts like Ms Celine Tan, who is the marketing director for beverages at F&N Global Marketing.

Other judges on the panel were Ms Denise Tan, director of the ITE College West School of Hospitality, and Maison Ikkoku Group chief executive Ethan Leslie Leong.

This year's contest also marked the first time students from the Higher Nitec in performance management course helped to organise the competition.

Two of those involved, Ms Abigail Seng Yan Ying and Ms Mikayla Elizabeth Cheong Ling Yun, both 20 and second-year students, said it was a good learning experience.

The annual F&N Greatest Mix Drinks Creation Challenge, held last Friday at the ITE College West campus in Choa Chu Kang, is a showcase for students' mixology and bartending skills, and also helps groom talent for the food and beverage industry.

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