Bartenders from across London have won places in the UK final of the UK Bartenders’ Guild National Cocktail Challenge.
In the London heat at Zander Bar in Westminster, 10 competitors were picked, including overall winner Lucia Montanelli from The Dorchester who achieved the highest score of the day.
The other nine are: Sebastian Ryszard Kasyna from Coq d’Argent; Enrico Gonzato from The Connaught Bar; Oscar Carletti from Hakkasan; Daniel Stepien from Coq d’Argent; Alessandro Pizzoli from Kensington Hotel; Charley Gery from Zander Bar; Michal Buben from The Wright Brothers in Soho; Gianfranco Cacciola from the Four Seasons Park Lane; and Kelly Harrison from Coast to Coast in Birmingham. Alessandro achieved the best marks for “Best Technical”.
They will compete against bartenders who have qualified in other regional heats at the UK grand final in London in October in the culmination of the competition sponsored by De Kuyper liqueurs.
The overall UK champion will go on to win an all-expenses-paid five-day trip to Tokyo to represent the UK in the 2016 International Bartenders Association World Final.
Contenders were challenged to make 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.
Mike Sweetman, UKBG vice president, said: “We knew we were in for something special with this heat, and we were certainly not disappointed! Every single mixologist went above and beyond to show us their skills, and our huge congratulations go to the 10 competitors who go through to the UK final in October.”
Paul Curry, De Kuyper brand manager, added: “It’s difficult not to be impressed by the quality of bartending throughout the UKBG National Cocktail Challenge, and we’re proud to sponsor the competition this year.
“De Kuyper’s range of liqueurs make the ultimate cocktail ingredients, and we were thrilled at how imaginatively they have been used.”