In the most fiercely-contested competition in its seven year history, crowd favourites Team Italy tonight won the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup.
From the start, Daniele dalla Pola, Alexander Frezza and Luca Sai of Team Italy established themselves as hot favourites, with each challenge bringing a new outfit and a new concept. But despite their sartorial style, they remained at the bottom of the points table — until their flawless finale.
Their final drink ‘Elisir d’Amore’ was described by the judge Jacob Briars as ‘incredibly well balanced and totally surprising.’
Italy took home the prestigious title and the trophy by less than half a percentage point, with USA in second place and Scotland in third. USA were classy as ever with their delivery of their 1920’s inspired ‘P.T. Pear Fizz’ and Scotland produced ‘Let’s Get Fizzical’ in slightly disturbing black and white lycra bodysuits.
But the judges were unanimous in their praise for Italy, a team which judge Salvatore ‘Maestro’ Calabrese said perfectly illustrated the ‘brotherhood of bartending.’ Not only did they produce a drink that pushed the boundaries of their craft, they delivered it as only an Italian can, with pure flourish. “All week we had been behind in the competition, we never thought we would win so we decided we would just have a great party. Our win means so much to Italy and Kia Ora Queenstown, we may well move here,” said Alexander Frezzai.
New York based judge and best selling drinks writer David Wondrich said the competition was the hardest he had ever judged, “the standard of the competitors and the competition itself is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I have been blown away by my week in Queenstown.”
After a week of challenges in and around Queenstown the seven teams from London, Europe, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Italy presented their ‘signature’ drink to four judges including New Zealand bartending legend and 42BELOW global vodka professor Jacob Briars, Australian Bartender of the Year Jason Williams, cocktail author and historian David Wondrich and the ‘godfather’ of the UK drinks scene, Salvatore Calabrese.
The grand final event was held under a spectacular big top marquee at the Lake Hayes Showgrounds, just outside Queenstown, with hundreds of guests delving into the magical, mystical world of the carnival with an extravaganza of performers, sideshows and the best in mixology. For more info, visit www.cocktailworldcup.com
RECIPE OF THE DAY:
2011 Cocktail World Cup Champions, Team Italy
45 ml pineapple and black pepper-infused 42BELOW
5 ml lavender-infused 42BELOW
20 ml limoncello
15 ml orange, lemon and Ginger syrup
5 ml Chambord
50 ml fresh pineapple juice
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Shake with ice. Strain into a bottle, serves two.
Picture credit: Supplied.
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