Disaronno’s Mixing Star Project reaches its second stage

Disaronno bottles

Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide on the second stage of Disaronno’s Mixing Star Project

Representing the second stage of this year’s Disaronno Mixing Star Project, bartenders across nine countries attended masterclasses covering the Five Great Bartending Styles: Classic, Tiki, Molecular, Batched, Contemporary & Fun.

Each attendee was selected according to a cocktail recipe they submitted to one of Disaronno’s regional Brand Ambassadors prior to the seminar. All of these recipes will be published in a special digital book, “The Mixing Star Collection”.

I attended, and indeed presented at, masterclasses in Aberdeen, Manchester and London, along with Rod Eslamieh – Disaronno’s UK Ambassador. While we were travelling across the UK, so other Disaronno Ambassadors were holding similar masterclasses across eight other countries (Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and USA). I was humbled by those bartenders who showed the commitment to travel for hours to attend our sessions – thank you.

The seminars were lively, fun and educational. Inevitably, of the five bartending styles it was molecular that generated the most questions, but surprisingly it was fat washing rather than other more complex techniques that proved one of the main topics of discussion. Hearing different bartenders’ sharing their experiences with the others, it struck me that our industry would greatly benefit from more seminars such as these.

Each masterclass culminated with a mystery box challenge to decide which five bartenders from each masterclass will be submitting a cocktail for the Mixing Star’s next stage. Well, I’m sure it was a mystery box in other countries, but here in the UK, Rod and I avoided dragging a box with us on the taxis, planes and trains between each seminar by revealing our selection of permitted ingredients from under a towel – so inevitably this became the “Mystery Towel Challenge”.

Given the restricted selection of ingredients that could be transported almost the length of the UK and then concealed under a towel, it was fascinating to witness the diverse cocktails some 60 different bartenders produced. And, given that the bartenders weren’t given the opportunity to test their recipes ahead of presenting them, it was reassuring to find how balanced and tasty the vast majority were. I’d share the recipes here but what goes on in these masterclasses stays in these masterclasses. However, we’ll be publishing the recipes each and every one submitted to earn a place at their masterclass.

The five bartenders presenting the best recipe from each mystery box challenge held across all nine countries have now been asked to submit their final recipes – each allotted a theme according to one of the Five Great Bartending Styles: Classic, Tiki, Molecular, Batched, Contemporary & Fun.

Next & final stage
In August I will be tasked with making and assessing all 155 cocktails submitted to this final stage to find the 45 best cocktails to feature in a very special printed book, “The Mixing Star Guide By Simon Difford”, along with the Mixing Stars who created them. Remember, Mixing Star is not a competition – or if it is, it’s one with no losers and 45 winners!

Bartenders challenged to supply recipes for the next stage
As mentioned above, the Masterclass Stage saw five bartenders from each of the nine participating countries invited to go through to the next stage, each challenged to submit their recipes corresponding to the Five Great Bartending Styles. They are:

From the London seminar held at Loves Company
1. Federico Gisbert Johnson, Hawksmoor
2. Mihai Cosmin Ababei, Berners Tavern at the London Edition hotel
3. Leonardo Becchetti, Lucky Voice
4. Alex Morrell, London Cocktail Club
5. Jessica Hellicar, London Cocktail Club

From the Aberdeen seminar held at Rye & Soda
1. Dale Murray, Italian Grill
2. Andy Stewart, The Tippling House
3. Elias Olaria, Rye & Soda
4. Nick Gordon, Orchid
5. William Shearer, Ninety-Nine Bar & Kitchen

From the Manchester seminar held at All Star Lanes
1. Wil Billy Wilson, Palmsugar Lounge
2. Craig Rex Robertson, The Strait & Narrow
3. Matt Truslove, The Kenilworth Cocktail Lounge
4. Elliot Barker, 45 West Bottle Shop & Bar
5. Jake McAlister, The Kenilworth Cocktail Lounge

Australia (Disaronno Ambassador: Matteo Fabbris)

From the Brisbane seminar
1. Ryan Lane
2. Blaire Gillespie
3. Brendon Osmers
4. Josh O’Brien
5. Lola Lucassen

From the Melbourne seminar
1. Andrea Marseglia
2. Damien Kos
3. Peter Kompes
4. Chris Litten
5. Shane Larkins

From the Sydney seminar
1. Andrea Gualdi
2. Thalita Alves
3. Jono Carr
4. Chris Pettit
5. Tom Egerton

From the Perth seminar
1. Dean Christie
2. Phil Weber
3. Joe Sinagra
4. Brett Arendse
5. Sean Butcher

From the Darwin seminar
1. Jordi James Pledger
2. Nguyen Do
3. Dan Carr
4. Janna Lintunen
5. Anneliese Grazioli

Germany (Disaronno Ambassador: Emanuele Ingusci)

From the first seminar
1. Thomas Weinberger
2. Mohammed Nazzal
3. Max Bergfried
4. Ferro F. Ceylan
5. Mario Santoro

From the second seminar
1. Maren Meyer
2. Richi Link
3. Dominik Achtenicht
4. Julian Klotz
5. Sascha Lenz

From the third seminar
1. Sebastian Lumpe
2. Lukas Motejzik
3. Matthias Ingelmann
4. Christoph Koell
5. Gerhard Praun

Greece (Disaronno Ambassador: George Bagos)

From the Athens seminar
1. Marios Vlachakis
2. Leyteris Petrogeorgakis
3. Andreas Dimopoulos
4. Ilias Rousopoulos
5. Dimitris Karaiskos

From the Thessaloniki seminar
1. Nikitas Stoilis
2. Eleutherios Kourtis
3. Kyriakos Tsitsiridakis
4. Fotis Stepsianos
5. George Liolios

Italy (Disaronno Ambassador: Alessandro Avilla)

From the Milano seminar
1. Ardito Luca
2. Pitanti Alessandro
3. Zambelli Gabriele
4. De Palma Matteo
5. Forzoni Lorenzo

From the Firenze seminar
1. Orlando Michel
2. Pavel Robert
3. Poggini Matteo
4. Marenda Andrea
5. Mecocci Sacha

From the Ragusa seminar
1. Bruno Riccardo
2. Tranchida Roberto
3. Di Giorgio Gianluca
4. Brugaletta Massimo
5. Stella Gianluca

From the Netherlands (Disaronno Ambassador: Andrew Nicholls)
1. Mike Rambags
2. Daniel Lansbergen
3. Amilcar Goncalves
4. Marcel Van der Ben
5. Pepijn Rondon Guasque
6. Martin Zwart
7. Caco Mosan
8. Rinus Schneider
9. Troy Rondon Guasque
10. Lindsay Grunewald
11. Wouter Bosch
12. Lukas Sedlmaier
13. Petra Norinder
14. Wilson Pires
15. Marco Cossu

Spain (Disaronno Ambassador: Ivan Herrera Cabanilla)

From the Madrid seminar
1. Alejandro Olmo
2. Carlos Vega
3. Eduardo Val
4. Pedro Martinez
5. Mattia Segat

From the Barcelona seminar
1. Walter Reitano
2. Karina Valenzano
3. Alvaro Martin
4. Fabio Sinisi
5. Otoniel Morillo

From the Sevilla seminar
1. Sergio Bermejo
2. Jose Antonio Orsiel
3. Santiago Dorado
4. Emmanuel Otero
5. Javier Galindo

Sweden (Disaronno Ambassador: Jonas Cofield)

From the Stockholm seminar
1. Tobias Holmberg
2. Ludwig Nordefors
3. Jody Morellato
4. Nathan Carlesso
5. Roberto Escobar

From the Gothenburg seminar
1. Dosa Ivanov
2. Kenneth Swärd
3. David Berfner
4. Christoffer Bergqvist
5. Martin Alexandersson

USA (Director Brand Ambassadors US: Paul Sevigny)

From the Newport seminar
1. David Roth
2. Kayleigh Speck
3. Stephanie Merola
4. Greg Mayer
5. Trish Rossiene

USA (West Coast Brand Ambassador: Alex Room)

From the San Francisco seminar
1. Davide Diana
2. Douglas Bedford
3. Elmer Mejicanos
4. Jacopo Rosito
5. Joshua-Peter Smith

USA (South Central Brand Ambassador: Lauren Ritchie)

From the Dallas seminar
1. Mandy Meggs
2. Spencer Shelton
3. Austin Gurley
4. Alex Slaughter
5. Mikey D’Amato

USA (Midwest Brand Ambassador: Michelle Overall)

From the Chicago seminar
1. Misael Hernandez
2. John Reindt
3. Joseph Michalek
4. Jarmel Doss
5. Torrence O’Haire

USA (Southeast Brand Ambassador: Matthew Hirschenbein)

From the Miami seminar
1. William J. Thompson
2. Kabir Akbani
3. Erin Davey
4. Karl Lipscomb
5. Nikos Mantzaridis

For more information, visit http://www.themixingstar.com or our official Facebook page.

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