Three bartenders head to Italy for Luxardo Campione final

Luxardo Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Three bartenders are off to Italy to compete in the UK grand final of a cocktail competition run for Luxardo liqueurs.

They will compete for the title of Luxardo Cocktail Campione 2015, with a prize of £3,000, after being selected out of 10 finalists in a challenge in London. It followed regional heats in London, Manchester and Cardiff.

The three competing at the grand final in Padua, where Luxardo is based, are Matthew Hastings from The Treehouse in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, Manacháin Monaghan from Monk in Buxton in Derbyshire, and Troels Knudsen from Steam & Rye in the City of London.

The two-day grand final at the end of September will involve impromptu creativity and a market dash for ingredients, hosted by director Matteo Luxardo and brand ambassador Mister G Franklin.

The Luxardo Campione challenge is the culmination of Luxardo’s La Famiglia campaign launched by UK distributor Cellar Trends and highlights Luxardo being Italy’s oldest family-owned producer of high-quality liqueurs and spirits.

Competitors can use any product from the Luxardo range of classic liqueurs: Maraschino, Sangue Morlacco, Limoncello, Amaretto, Aperitivo and sambucas and its cocktail cherries.

This year’s finalists arrived with ever-more adventurous partner ingredients, including homemade hibiscus akvavit, almond milk and orange bitters, a beetroot reduction, and white wine foam.

Via the Luxardo Cocktails online platform at, entrants can share their inspiration, recipes, videos and photos among the international bar community. Click on the links in the recipes to find out more about their inspiration.

Craig Chapman, marketing manager for Luxardo at Cellar Trends, said: “We have been thrilled to see some very adventurous and creative mixes from bartenders, and the theme of La Famiglia was interpreted in many original ways.

“The competition has encouraged plenty of fresh thinking on how liqueurs can create very distinctive and drinkable cocktails. Many styles of presentation from competitors have been elaborate and very entertaining. A full-size baseball bat garnish and also a hamper with a painstakingly embroidered logo certainly made everyone in the room chuckle.

“We thank all the entrants, and wish the finalists the best of luck.”

Home From Home by Matthew Hastings
50ml Luxardo Maraschino Originale
35ml Lemon juice
15ml Egg white
20ml Fernet
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
Combine ingredients, shake and dry shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Click here to find out about his inspiration.

Till Death by Manacháin Monaghan
50ml Luxardo Sangue Morlacco
1 Whole egg white
10ml Fresh lemon
5ml Rose water
1 dash Spiced chocolate bitters
2 Fresh strawberries
Combine ingredients in a shaker and double shake – with ice first, then without ice. Strain into a rocks glass dressed with a “Cupcake Serviette” and garnish with pink peppercorn and dehydrated strawberry from a pepper grater. Click here to find out about his inspiration.

Family Ties by Troels Knudsen
35ml Luxardo Maraschino Originale
15ml Luxardo Aperitivo Spritz
20ml Hibiscus-infused akvavit
Mix ingredients in a shaker, fill with cubed ice and roll/throw eight times. Pour into a chilled gold-rimmed martini glass and serve. Click here to find out about his drink and inspiration.

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