Two UK bartenders have been selected to compete in the global final of Brugal 1888’s inaugural global rum competition in the Dominican Republic.
Daniel Stępień from The Ritz and Giulia Cuccurullo from Artesian beat off stiff competition from fellow industry experts during the first round of the competition, which took place at The Parrot in London.
The Nearly Neat competition launched last month, and centres around exploring the possibilities of almost-neat liquids.
Eight bartenders from across the UK were tasked with creating serves using minimal ingredients to “enrich the warmth of Brugal 1888”.
Daniel’s cocktail Don Dominican combined Brugal 1888 with sherry, vanilla syrup and absinthe, while Giulia’s creation Hermana mixed Brugal 1888 with Crème de Peche and sherry.
The competition was judged by leading experts Pavol Kazimir, Pepijn Van Den Abeele, Alex Kratena and Monica Berg.
Daniel and Giulia will now join eight other global competitors in the Caribbean, home to the Brugal brand, to participate in the final serve challenge.
Following this, one bartender will be crowned Brugal 1888’s Sipping Society Maestro, with the winning cocktail becoming the Brugal 1888 signature serve.
Brugal 1888 global brand ambassador Pavol Kazimir said: “All of the UK competitors should be delighted with their performance.
“It was very tough deciding who the finalists from the UK would be but we were so impressed by the serves created by both Daniel and Giulia.
“Their passion and flair on the day embodied the spirit of the Brugal 1888 – encapsulating everything that the competition is about. I am very excited to see their next performance in the Global final.”
The Nearly Neat competition was unveiled this year as the first event of Brugal 1888’s new Sipping Society, an exclusive advocacy programme that aims to empower industry experts with unique access to everything from rum masterclasses to exclusive VIP experiences.