The winners of the 2022 Pisco Aperitivo Cocktail Competition in both Australia and New Zealand have been named with Brett Nebauer from Onzieme Restaurant in Canberra and Matt Venables of Bar Magda in Auckland taking out the honours.
This year the competition challenged bartenders to create an aperitivo-style cocktail using Pisco as the base ingredient, with Brett creatin the Agua Bendita and Matt offering up his Masters Muse.
The two winning cocktails were described as being complex, creative and truly capturing the essence of aperitivo while highlighting the versatility of the Peruvian spirit.
This year entries were judged by Australian drinks journalist Mike Bennie alongside bartender and co-founder of Continental Bar & Deli Michael Nicolian.
“The calibre of entries was seriously high this year. So many unexpected interpretations of what makes a good Aperitivo-style drink, it was a huge effort for us to select the finalists and ultimately the winners. In the end, the cocktails that put Pisco front and centre while surprising us with interesting and complex flavour combinations shone through,” Mike said.
“The winning Australian entry was thoughtful and clever – showing great originality. The combination of sweet, savoury, fig leaf, cacao – it all works, brilliant drink. And from New Zealand – delicious. Absinthe and cranberry worked superbly here. The flavours were balanced, delicate but quietly complex. A stellar entry.”
The competition organiser is PROMPERÚ – the Commission for the Promotion of Peruvian Exports and Tourism – and Trade Commissioner of Peru to Australia and New Zealand, Mario Vargas, said of the entries: “It
has been fantastic to see Pisco being embraced by such talented mixologists across Australia and New Zealand. Every cocktail entered demonstrated the aperitivo-style at its best and showcased the complex character and versatility of Pisco as a key ingredient to a well-balanced cocktail. I want to extend my congratulations to our two worthy winners for producing such exceptional cocktails.”
The competition was judged based on taste, style, creativity and inspirational use of the aperitivo theme. Both winners have been awarded a cash prize of AUD$1,500 as well as a batch of premium Pisco, the spirit of Peru.
Judges also selected a second place winner from each country, who both received an award of AUD$500 and a batch of premium Pisco to enjoy. Rachel Mynczywor from Rude Boy in Hobart was awarded the Australia runner-up prize for her High Noon cocktail, with PJ Renaud from Parasol & Swing in Auckland taking the second place prize for New Zealand for his Cola Agria cocktail.