The power of imagination in cocktail making

World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition

Bombay Sapphire gin house 
challenged professional bartenders from around the world to create a cocktail inspired by Tuscany, the home of the juniper berries, which lies at the heart of Bombay Sapphire gin. The aim of the World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition was to inspire the endless creativity that is at the heart of great cocktail making.

The bartenders took part in a four-day event, in and around the historical city of Florence where they experienced the region. The winner, Matteo Vanzi of Italy was chosen from 11 finalists from around the world.

Hosted at Il Salviatino, a 15th-century villa high in the hills over Florence, Raj Nagra Bombay Sapphire Global Brand Ambassador who compered the competition commented, “By working with the most creative talent from behind the bar, the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition not only challenges these bartenders, but it also aims to support them on their journey to becoming the most imaginative bartenders in the world.”

In addition to being crowned the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender 2013 for his The Pastorini (Perfect Lady) cocktail, Matteo Vanzi received the competition’s coveted trophy. He has been invited to be judge at next year’s competition and will also become latest addition to the Bombay Sapphire Cocktail Hall of Fame – partaking in various duties, including attending the opening of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England, later this year. Furthermore, Matteo Vanzi will have the unique opportunity to work with Virgin Atlantic to create their new signature cocktail, which will feature as part of the airline’s Clubhouse[2] menu, giving consumers worldwide a taste of their imagination.

The Pastorini (Perfect Lady) – Matteo Vanzi’s Winning Cocktail Recipe:

Overall recipe ingredients:

50ml Bombay Sapphire gin
10ml St Germain infused jasmine green tea and pink grapefruit peel
15ml Martini Bianco
20ml White Balsamic Vinegar with verbena and camomile.

Homemade shrub:
1tsp juniper berry meringue.

Overall method:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
Shake, fine strain and serve in metal picnic mugs.

Homemade shrub:
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup white balsamic vinger

Method for homemade shrub:
Heat vinger and allow sugar to disolve and then filter.

375ml St Germain
3 tbs Jasmine green tea
Peel of one Pink grapefruit.

To make the infusion:
In a Vienna coffee machine lightly infuse the green tea and pink grapefruit peel with the St Germain
Juniper Berry meringue
125g egg white
125g caster sugar
5 whole fine gounded juniper berries.
Method for meringue
Whisk to mergine

The 2013 Finalists:
Austria: Markus Altrichter , Hammond Bar , Vienna
Canada: Franz Swinton , Cube Tasting Lounge, Calagry
Demark: Niklas Frank , The Union, Copenhagen
Germany: Mathias Noori , Roomers Bar, Frankfurt
Italy: Matteo Vanzi, Stravinskji Bar hotel de Russie, Rome
Japan: Mai Seike , Cellar Bar, Rihga Royal Hotel, Tokyo
South Africa: Assaf Yechiel, Orphanage cocktail bar, Cape Town
Spain: Joao Eusebio , Magatzem Escola Borne, Barcelona
Switzerland: Nico Colic, Hotel Rivington & Sons, Zurich
UK: Joe Wild , Berry & Rye, Liverpool
USA: Rustyn Vaughan-Lee , The Sporting League, Las Vegas.