Lucia Montanelli from The Dorchester hotel in London has been chosen to represent the UK in the world final of the International Bartenders Association competition in Tokyo.
She triumphed against some of the country’s best bartenders in the final of the UK Bartenders’ Guild (UKBG) National Cocktail Challenge this month, sponsored by De Kuyper liqueurs.
Pictured above, she impressed judges with her drink, Orange Pekoe, a delicate mix of ingredients including De Kuyper Lapsang Souchong Tea liqueur, rye whiskey, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, Amarena Fabbri cherry syrup, and orange and mandarin bitters. It was garnished with a twist of orange and a sugar rim
In second place came Daniel Sepien from Coq d’Argent in London, followed by Charley Gery from Bank Restaurant and Bar in London in third.
Contenders were tasked to create a twist on a classic Crusta, featuring at least 20ml from the De Kuyper liqueur range. Each drink had to be presented and served to four people within seven minutes and was judged on appearance, aroma and taste.
Lucia, who is the fourth winner from The Dorchester over the past 10 years, will be taken on an all-expenses-paid five-day trip to Tokyo to compete in the IBA’s global final next year.
Mike Sweetman, UKBG Vice President, said: “Once again this has been a truly fantastic contest. These bartenders are without a doubt some of the best in the business and it’s with huge pride that we announce Lucia’s win. Congratulations to our runners-up and to everyone who entered – we salute you!”
De Kuyper brand manager Paul Curry said: “The National Cocktail Challenge is testament to the fresh originality of modern British bartending, and we are so happy to be the sponsor. De Kuyper’s range of liqueurs make the ultimate cocktail ingredients, and they’ve been really imaginatively used here. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the competition such a success – it’s now on to Tokyo for the IBA World Final.”