By Rebecca Harris

The first of three regional finals for the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup kicks off in Brisbane tonight (Nov 16).

Each year, regional teams are selected globally to compete in the world final in Queenstown, New Zealand.

This year, three Australian state finals will be held, with the winner of each making up the team who will represent Australia at the final in March 2010.

This year, to select the Australian finalists, the ‘Ready, Steady, Shake’ format made popular in Brisbane has been adopted.

Twenty-four finalists will be presented with a mystery box and challenged to create a unique cocktail using only its contents.

Amongst the finalists tonight is 2009 Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) ‘Best Bar Manager’ finalist Lucy George from the Emporium Hotel Bar in Fortitude Valley.

The 42 Below Cocktail World Cup is one of the zaniest and most fun cocktail competitions in the world and it sees teams from as far afield as Ireland, Japan and the United States battle it out for the title of 42 Below World Cup Champions.

Past challenges have included bungee-jumping, jet-boat riding and free-pouring vodka at the top of a mountain.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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