Antica Formula launches cocktail competition

Bartenders from across the UK have a chance to win a trip to Italy in a cocktail competition showcasing the versatility of Antica Formula.

At stake is the chance for four regional winners to enjoy an exclusive VIP trip to Milan to visit the Fratelli Branca Distillery, where Antica Formula is still made to the original 1786 recipe.

With Antica Formula a key ingredient in three much-loved cocktails – the Negroni, Americano and Hanky Panky ¬– entrants will need to demonstrate their knowledge of the heritage and character of the red vermouth.

UK distributor Hi-Spirits is inviting bartenders to create their own aperitivo recipe based on one of the four classics. The drink must either feature on the cocktail menu or as a special at their bar and the shortlisted finalists will be invited to compete at four regional events in Scotland, London, the North West and the Midlands.

The four regional contests will be decided by a panel of judges headed by Nicola Branca, world ambassador for Antica Formula, and the judges will be awarding points for drinks that reflect the tradition and strengths of Antica Formula, as well as the contestants’ technical skills.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Antica Formula is at the heart of some of the world’s best-loved cocktails. We’re not only inviting the UK’s top bartenders to show that they can make the classics expertly and consistently, but also that they have the skill and ingenuity to create an aperitivo of their own as a twist one of these great cocktails.”

The competition opens on May 1 and entrants have until July 31 to enter their aperitivo recipe online at, where full terms and conditions can be found. The regional finals will be held between September 4 and 8, with the winners heading to Milan later in September.

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