FLAVOUR GENIUS OF THE MONTH – EDGAR MAHBALA

What inspired you to become a Flavour Genius? 

It was and continues to be the science, art and craft behind mixology or mixing of drinks. I started off as a barista and soon became a bartender and since then, I have always thrived to give my consumers the perfect serve. Working on DaVinci Gourmet has taken this to the next level as I get to create my own masterpieces. 
 

In your opinion, what are the biggest flavour trends in 2019, in your country? 

In SSA, the biggest flavor trends are ginger, mango, African botanicals, Botanicals and Moringa. Ginger has always been a trend in Africa, I was raised drinking drinks made with ginger at an early age. Botanicals with gin are really trending globally as well as in Africa. Moringa is trending because of its health benefits and African nostalgia. 

Where do you find your inspiration when creating new drink applications? 

Most of my inspiration comes from my childhood. It’s about bringing back all the traditional African flavors I grew up with  in the form of a drink.  

What is the most interesting flavour combination you have experimented with when making a beverage? 

The mixture of Davinci Blue Ocean and orange juice gives you that perfect green color that represents the fertility of the South African land. The other combination that really amazes me is a mixture of Davinci strawberry syrup and the Davinci blue ocean which gives you a perfect galaxy purple hue. I also have enjoyed fusing the Davinci Gourmet brand with my favorite local African beverages such as Mageu (traditional Maize drink) with Frappes and Umqombothi (traditional African beer) with Pineapple Fruit Mix.  

What do you think are some key challenges baristas or mixologists face in the industry? 

– Education about the industry  

– Exposure to global trends  

– Where and how to find info  

– Reaching people who are willing to share their knowledge  

People will start to see the value of what we do, just like chefs, mixologists and baristas are a very important part of the industry and I really do believe there is a bright future for this space. 
 

What advice would you give young aspiring baristas or mixologists who are eager to learn the trade? 

The most important thing when you are making new drinks, is to think outside the box. Currently, we are looking at what we call mixology where we create alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with foams and different colors, similar to what chefs are doing with food. You’ve got to be creative, you must have your feet on the ground while being creative and most of all you’ve got to have Passion! Passion! Passion! 

Share one of your greatest achievements in your time as a Flavour Genius 

My greatest achievement as a flavor genius was landing the Diageo Johnny Walker Red Label jug project. Building from consumer insights that Red Label was a harsh drink, Diageo was looking for jug recipes to promote new palatable drinking experiences. The project is currently being rolled out throughout SA. 

What do you enjoy the most about being a DaVinci Gourmet Flavour Genius? 

What I enjoy the most is showcasing the brand to a client and seeing the reaction on their faces after tasting the product. Also, the sky is not even the limit when it comes to DaVinci products you can mix it with almost anything and it will still perform. 

What inspired me to come up with these recipes was one of African quote that says:  

As long as the lion can’t write, the hunter keeps telling his side of the story. 
With DaVinci Gourmet, I feel it gives me the opportunity to tell & share the story of our unique African flavours & tastes with the world – crafted with modern twists to make it relevant to our consumers. 


EDGAR’S SIGNATURE RECIPES

AFRICAN JAY Z (JACOB ZUMA) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DA VINCI INGREDIENTS 

Green Apple Campagna syrup: 20ml

Mexican Lime Intense: 5 ml 

OTHER INGREDIENTS 

Moringa powder: 5grms                                                                      

Musgrave Gin: 50ml                                                                                

Tonic water: 100ml 

METHOD  

– Place all ingredients, except tonic water into a shaker  

– Shake well to mix and double strain into a glass with ice 

– Garnish with slices of fresh apple and a pinch of moringa powder

BAOBAB-MAGEU FRAPPE  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVINCI INGREDIENTS 

Butterscotch Sauce: 15 ml

Frappease powder: 30g 

OTHER INGREDIENTS

Baobab powder: 10g                                                                     

Mageu: 100ml                                                                                  

Milk: 30ml 

METHOD  

– Add all ingredients in a blender  

– Blend until desired consistency

– Pour contents into a glass  

– Garnish with whipped cream and sauce  

GINGER COLADA  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVINCI INGREDIENTS  

Pineapple Fruit mix      45ml 

OTHER INGREDIENTS  

Stoney ginger beer: 100ml 

Finely chopped ginger: 5g 

Malibu: 25ml 

031 freedom white rum: 25ml 

METHOD  

– Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth 

– Pour into a glass  

– Garnish with fresh ginger