New Zealand crowns world's top barmen
29 Mar 2010
Team USA swept away the top award at the final of the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup in Wellington, New Zealand, at the weekend.
US cocktail meisters Mark Stoddard, Todd Thrasher and Sean Hoard were crowned best bartenders in the world after an intensive five days on the road - during which they competed with more than 2000 mixologists from seven countries around the world.
The winners were selected at a sold-out event themed "Love, drinks and rock’n’roll baby" at Wellington’s old museum building.
Team USA wowed judges with their original cocktail, cheekily named "I have too much thyme on my hands right now at this point in my life". The drink was made with 42BELOW Pure vodka, apple bitters, lime thyme syrup accompanied by an artichoke aperitif.
"The drink was sorted from day one but the presentation came together in the last minute on the plane, it was phenomenal," said winner Todd Thrasher.
Team USA set a winning track after winning the "21st Century Punch Challenge" early in the competition.
For the final, the team appeared on stage to begin their performance by whipping off their black tracksuits and donning cocktail aprons before making their winning beverage - all to a track by hip-hop veterans Run DMC.
Judges commended Team USA’s amazing level of performance and their humble attitude.
The eight teams of bartenders arrived at Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island, early last week and were greeted by being thrown off a bridge with a bungy cord attached to their feet.
The Queenstown experience included a traditional Māori powhiri welcome, degustation dinner with matching cocktails, a rock star party, helicopter rides and a series of adrenalin-pumping activities.
Hot on Team USA’s heels and in second place was Team France, with a cocktail named "Le Rendez-Vous" - served alongside a dessert created on stage.
In third place was the host Team New Zealand with their "42 Cuba St" - named after a famous Wellington city street. Their delicious recipe consisted of 42BELOW Manuka Honey vodka, chocolate and decanter bitters, and a spray of gunpowder and rum.
Judge Simon Difford said the classy Kiwi cocktail was his favourite tasting drink of the night. New Zealand was represented by Aucklander James Goggin, and Wellington’s Josh Crawford and Calum Chadwick.
The star-studded panel of judges on the night included Simon Difford - godfather of the UK drinks industry, Jim Meehan - star of the US bar trade, Vernon Chalker - a founding father of the Melbourne cocktail scene, and Kiwi Jason Chan - owner of a leading Melbourne bar and 2005 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup champion.
Background: 42BELOW vodka
- 42BELOW is an award-winning New Zealand vodka that is available in some of the world’s top bars.
- The vodka was created by Kiwi Geoff Ross who began making the alcohol in his home garage, in Wellington, New Zealand.
- 42BELOW, made from water that runs under an extinct volcano, has the highest purity rating available.
- The vodka is named for its New Zealand origins - the 42nd parallel runs through New Zealand, and the pure liquid also has 42% alcohol content.
Kiwi bartenders mix it with the best
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