THE CONTEST took place at Dead Rabbit, New York on May 11 and included three rounds of cocktail creation and barmanship judged by Giuseppe Gallo, Martini global brand ambassador; Jim Meehan, bartender and author of The PDT Cocktail Book; Gary Regan, bartender, journalist and author; and Simon Ford, co-founder of The 86 Co.
Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale represented The Langham Hotel bar, Artesian, while Jack McGarry and Bobby Hiddleston competed for The Dead Rabbit, New York.
Round one required the full team from both bars to create an original punch - to serve 60 - inspired by Jerry P Thomas’ famous vermouth cocktail. Kratena and Caporale created ‘Bugs Bunny Waiting to Become Dead Rabbit’, while McGarry and Hiddleston served ‘Bunny Punch’.
The second, speed round featured one bartender from each team undertaking some of the ‘most complex and iconic cocktails’ including the Americano, Negroni Sbagliato, Bobby Burns, Tipperary and Floridita #3. With a composite list of ingredients and definitive process, extra points were gained for observance of the original recipe, depth of flavour and time.
Round three, judged creativity. Contenders were challenged to create an aperitif judged on is originality, taste, refreshment, presentation and creativity.
Giuseppe Gallo, Martini global brand ambassador and one for the judges said: “Martini is all about innovation, excellence and style, and all three things were seen in excess during this competition.
“I have never been to a competition with quite as much raw talent on show. Watching the best mixologists in the world entertain the crowd, mix phenomenal concoctions and have so much fun is a priceless experience!”