By Rebecca Harris
The action is heating up at the 42 Below World Cocktail Cup, with the competition kicking off with a jump-start – literally.
Competitors had only just landed in Queenstown, New Zealand, when they were told they were going, not to their hotel, but directly to AJ Hackett Bungy, where they were required to complete the first of their knockout challenges.
Forty-five bartenders jumped 42 metres into the Kawarau River and then, hands shaking from the thrill and the cold, had to freepour four exact measures of vodka without looking. They lost a point for every millilitre they were out and Vodka Professor Jacob was standing by to record the results.
Australian competitor Kerin Golley said that it was one of the most exhilarating things she had ever done. “Today was the most random day of my life,” she said. “But I had the best time doing it.”
Six Australians are competing in two teams of three — the ‘Shake-a-roos’ and ‘Above the Rim’—- up against thirteen other teams from across the world. Over five days, competitors are required to complete a series of extreme bartending challenges to see who will be crowned the champions for 2008.
Competitors will today complete the next two of their six knockout challenges. In one, they will be required to demonstrate their knowledge of classic cocktails by making a Twentieth Century cocktail, while in the other they will have to devise a modern Twenty-First Century Punch.