The Luxardo Cocktail Campione has crowned its first-ever winner. David Hamilton Boyd of catering and cocktail design company Organic Spirit scooped the first prize of £3,000 in a thrilling two-day final in Padua, Italy.
Competing in the home of Luxardo, the three UK finalists – Matthew Soares of Cloud 23 in Manchester, Nathan Sorby of Cosy Club in Cardiff, and David Hamilton Boyd – mixed their own Italian Inspiration: an original cocktail influenced by the brand’s heritage in Italy.
For the Italian market round, the three finalists had to choose their ingredients from the famous market in historic Padua and create their unique cocktail in front of the Luxardo family.
Entrants were required to use any product from Luxardo’s range of classic Italian liqueurs, either from its cherry portfolio including Maraschino and Sangue Morlacco, classics such as Limoncello, or the Sambuca range.
Both of David’s winning creations were unusual, creative and full of flare.
Phoenix from the Flame used Luxardo Sangue Morlacco, Luxardo Chilli & Spices Sambuca, homemade cherry wood-smoked Luxardo Grappa, lemon juice, cherry purée, cherry and birch ash, Luxardo Maraschino, and rosemary dry ice smoke.
Dolce Vita, Sweet Sun Shine was made using Limoncello, saffron-infused vodka, lemon juice, dolcelatte mozzarella cheese, topped with prosecco and garnished with saffron.
See the side panel for recipes for David’s cocktails as well as the other market creations, Nathan’s Paloma de Veneto and Matthew’s Fairwell to Arms, and the Italian-inspired drinks, A Summer in Italia from Nathan and Zara Fizz from Matthew.
The use of Luxardo Maraschino reflects a UK-wide industry trend, with sales surging by 43% in 2013. This has been fuelled by bartenders applying new molecular techniques to classic cocktails, surprising spirit pairings such as maraschino and tequila, and experimentation with bottled cocktails. At the luxury end, vintage stocks of Maraschino are appearing in subtly balanced classic cocktails.
The Luxardo Campione competition was launched in May and attracted entrants from right across the UK. Heats took place over the summer in Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and London, before 11 bartenders were shortlisted for the London semi-final.
The top three were then flown to the grand final in Italy, where the judges included Matteo Luxardo from the Luxardo family, Craig Chapman, Luxardo marketing manager at Cellar Trends, and “G” Franklin, Luxardo UK brand ambassador.
See all the action from the grand finale at https://luxardococktails.com/get-inspired or join the Luxardo Cocktail community Twitter: @LuxardoCocktail Facebook: /LuxardoCocktails. Instagram: Luxardococktail. Or to hear the Luxardo brand story from 1821 check out the Luxardo You Tube channel.
Congratulations David – the 2014 Luxardo Cocktail Campione!