By Rebecca Harris
The winner of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup 2008 was announced in Queenstown, New Zealand on Saturday (September 13).
UK team ‘London’ – comprising Joshua Ivanovic, John Goodman and Sean Ware — took home the coveted title with their inventive cocktail, an ‘Ale of Two Cities’.
A version of a British Ale, the winning concoction was made from 42 Below Feijoa flavoured vodka, Punt e Mes, apple juice, nettle cordial, malt syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice and Angostura bitters and garnished with deep fried potato chips.
While the winning cocktail was beautifully fragrant and well balanced, the chips, according to more than one judge, were “the worst I have ever tasted.”
This year’s judging panel was made up of Francesco Lafranconi from the US, Jonathan Downey from the UK, Ueno Hidetsugu from Japan, Jason Dell from New Zealand and Australia’s own Sebastian Reaburn of 1806 bar in Melbourne.
Now in its fifth year, the competition has developed a reputation as one of the most impressive in the bartending community. For five days, 45 bartenders from around the world compete in a series of extreme challenges, including bungy jumping, jetboat riding and paintball, all the while producing some amazing and innovative cocktails.
This year saw teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, China/Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the US competing in what was certainly a thrilling week.
Team ‘Central USA’ placed second, with their ‘Wisdom of the Ages’, while team ‘Scotland’ managed a third placing, despite having to compete in the final shake-off as a duo after their third team member was hospitalised.
Australia had two teams in the competition – ‘Above the Rim’ and the ‘Shake-a-roos’ – with the ‘Shake-a-roos’ making the final seven and getting the chance to compete in the final shake-off on Saturday afternoon. The Shake-a-roos were placed about fifth overall in the competition.