Underdogs team concocts magical mix for last orders to claim the Cocktail World Cup.
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND 42BELOW -A hotly contested championship has seen team Italy emerge as the 2011 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup champions in Queenstown, New Zealand.
From the beginning of the competition, the Italian team, made up of Danielle Dalla Pola, Alexander Frezzai and Luca Sai, was a favourite among fellow contestants - but remained long shots, at the bottom of the points table"Everyday we look at the score and say: 'We're doing good, we try hard' and then we're always in the back, we say what's going on?" Dalla Pola said.
But the team were saved by their last concoction of the competition at the finals on Friday night (March 18) - the 'Elisir d'Amore'.
"Well they came completely prepared for the final. Their show was in the theme of the competition, they had the carnival barkers, they had the clown, they had everything well planned out, very funny, their drink was delightful. You know, they really took it seriously," New York based judge and best selling drinks writer David Wondrich, adding that this year's contest was the toughest he'd had to judge.
It was a close call, though: Italy's cocktail coup at last orders saw them come out on top by less than half a percentage point, with USA in second place and Scotland in third.
Now in it's seventh year, the compeitition saw week of challenges in and around Queenstown for the seven teams from London, Europe, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Italy.
The teams presented their 'signature' drinks to expert judges including New Zealand bartending legend and 42BELOW global vodka professor Jacob Briars, Australian Bartender of the Year Jason Williams, cocktail author and historian David Wondrich and the 'godfather' of the UK drinks scene, Salvatore Calabrese.
For those who want a taste of team Italy's winning cocktail, the Elisir D'Amore, the recipe is as follows:
45 ml pineapple and black pepper-infused 42BELOW
5 ml lavender-infused 42BELOW
20 ml limoncello
15 ml orange, lemon and Ginger syrup
5 ml Chambord
50 ml fresh pineapple juice
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Shake with ice. Strain into a bottle, serves two.