By Rebecca Harris
The six finalists who will represent Australia at the 42Below Cocktail World Cup have been announced, after the Victorian and NSW state finals were held this week.
Gerard ‘Gezza’ McAlpine from Ginger and Greg Sanderson from Black Pearl took out the Victorian finals on Monday, while Blake Head from Lotus and Luke Redington from Hugos won the NSW final last night.
They will join Queensland winners Kerin Golley and Sebastien Derbomez at the world final in Queenstown, New Zealand next month.
“I was just so impressed with the overall standard and calibre of all the drinks across the competition,” said judge and proprietor of Melbourne’s 1806, Sebastian Reaburn.
“The level of creativity and their use of such diverse ingredients really impressed me. There’s not one drink they made that I wouldn’t order again.”
The Victorian final, held at Alumbra in Melbourne’s Docklands, lived up to 42Below’s left-of-centre reputation with a live performance of the haka — a traditional New Zealand dance — and the appearance of a petting zoo complete with four sheep.
In Sydney, more than 200 people turned up to watch the NSW final at Drift at Ravesi’s in Bondi, where finalists’ cocktails featured such diverse garnishes as a zucchini flower filled with passionfruit and a Cuban cigar.
Now in its fifth year, the 42Below Cocktail World Cup is a unique five-day competition that sees teams from around the world compete in a series of extreme challenges, including making a Cosmopolitan cocktail while bungee jumping.