Kiwi bartenders to mix it with the best
05 Mar 2010
42BELOW Cocktail World Cup - Queenstown / Wellington
22 - 27 March 2010
Top Kiwi bartenders are preparing to compete in the ultimate clash of the cocktail shakers - the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup.
Hosted by New Zealand’s award-winning 42BELOW vodka brand, eight teams of mixologists from seven countries will take part in the event, which is now in its sixth year.
The teams will fly into New Zealand’s adventure capital of Queenstown, before heading off on a road trip and a series of challenges that finish in Wellington on 27 March.
This year’s line-up of international judges have been dubbed "the Mick Jaggers of the mixology world".
Heading up the star-studded panel is 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.
Rock star mixologists
The world’s best bartenders are considered the rock stars of the drinks industry - and the 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup is a chance for them to prove their mettle.
Seven countries - the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, France, Italy and New Zealand - have each entered a three-person bartending team into the four-day finals, which kick off in Queenstown on 22 March.
The competing bartenders have all gone through gruelling regional competitions to secure one of their team’s three coveted spots.
The 2009 Cocktail World Cup was won by the London team with a cocktail christened "Ale of Two Cities" that was inspired by the classic English pint.
The touring teams will take in some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, complete with live gigs, pop-up parties and non-stop adrenalin pumping activity.
New Zealand’s team of top bartenders come from diverse parts of the country.
Aucklander James Goggin and Wellington’s Josh Crawford and Calum Chadwick all made the national team after creating their signature cocktails for 42BELOW’s vodka professor Justin McKenzie, and local judges Semi Kuresa and Kelly Jane Ferry.
The Kiwi team is hoping to bring home the Cocktail World Cup for the first time ever, and is looking forward to the challenges in store. McKenzie says he’s impressed with the talent of this year’s competitors, and has high hopes for the New Zealand team.
"This year’s team has shown a new level of maturity in stepping away from the fruity cocktails of the past and that’s going to appeal to international judges," McKenzie says.
Background: 42BELOW vodka
42BELOW is an award-winning vodka that is available internationally 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 is made from water that runs under an extinct volcano and gets 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.
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