With a prize trip to Italy and chance to win an international final on offer, the Vero Bartender Amaro Montenegro competition launched with excitement!
2018 is the very first year Amaro Montenegro has globalised their cocktail competition, allowing 10 countries to compete for the prestigious, international ‘Vero Bartender of the Year’ title.
10 finalists were chosen from the online submissions to compete in the Australian national final, held in Melbourne at Whitehart Bar on Monday, September 24th.
After an exciting and difficult deliberation by the judging panel, it was decided Will Krepop from Jungle Boy Bar Windsor, was the very first Australian Amaro Montenegro Cocktail Competition Winner! Creating the Monte’ Tropicano and the Vero Bartender cocktails, Will demonstrated exceptional technique and creativity.
At 28, Will has lived in Australia for many years now and has been lucky enough to work in some of the top tropical cocktail bars on this side of the world. Will will be flown to Bologna Italy, to partake in a residency program and compete in the International Final at the end of November. All the best Will, we hope his Amaro Montenegro cocktails are a recipe for success!
Italy’s no. 1 Amaro, the ‘liqueur of virtues’, enabled Australian Bartenders to be creative with their online submissions and produce a ‘twist on a classic’ cocktail, playing on some of Amaro Montenegro’s 40 botanicals.
The national final involved 2 challenges.
Challenge one saw contestants recreate their ‘twist on a classic’ cocktail with an edible garnish, allowing the judges to experience the array of different flavours chosen for each unique creation. Also utilising a culinary technique applied to the mixology world such as candying, smoking or drying, contestants could showcase their unique skills.
Challenge 2 tested the competitors’ creativity. Each were given a ‘secret box’ with a surprise food side prepared by a professional chef. Using this food side as inspiration, they had limited time to dash to collect their ingredients from the pantry installation and produce a cocktail using 6 ingredients at most.