Bartenders from UK and Italy to compete over Amaro di Angostura

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Bartenders from two London bars will face competitors from Milan and Rome this week in the final of a contest with Amaro di Angostura for the top prize of a trip to the Trinidad carnival.

Teams from The Cocktail Trading Co and the Blind Pig at Social Eating House are heading to Fregene near Rome after winning a semi-final in London against Opium and Hawksmoor last month.

The bartenders from the UK will meet the winning teams from semi-finals in Italy: Porto Fluviale in Rome and Pinch Spirits & Kitchen in Milan.

The competition, called “Versus”, has been created by the House of Angostura for its liqueur Amaro di Angostura to get bartenders working together in rounds challenging their speed, technique and creativity.

The winners of the final at the Blanco Beach Club in Fegere this Thursday (July 13) will be taken on a trip to the carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean next year.

The UK part of the competition has been run by Jim Wrigley of bar and events company Bourne & Hollingsworth Group while the Italian side was hosted by Cristian Lorusso.

The final will be hosted by Daniyel Jones (pictured), global brand ambassador for Amaro di Angostura, who said: “This competition is not for the faint hearted: it will be fast, skilful, competitive, intense and, above all, entertaining.”

Jillian Kalloo-Escayg, marketing manager for international spirits at the House of Angostura, added: “Amaro di Angostura, since its launch in 2014, has won approval of leading bartenders across the world. We wanted to create a competition which celebrated the versatility of Amaro di Angostura and also really focused on what bartenders love about their trade – namely intensity, teamwork and fun. Versus will be that but also very technically challenging.”

The amaro, which was launched in the UK last year by distributor Lightbox Brands, is made by blending aromatic Angostura Bitters with a neutral spirit and adding more spices and then left to marry for three months. The liqueur, which has ABV of 35%, is a smooth balance of bitter, sweet and spicy flavours, with notes of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and liquorice.

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