42BELOW Cocktail World Cup: Latest News – And the winner is…
From more than two thousand bartenders around the world, tonight the Team USA trio of Mark Stoddard, Todd Thrasher and Sean Hoard emerged as the clear winners in the sixth 42BELOW Cocktail World Cup.
The grand final event in Wellington capped off five days of intense competition, with 24 bartenders from seven countries competing in a series of challenges in Queenstown and Wellington. Team USA were crowned the best bartenders in the world, with their wordy cocktail titled ‘I have too much thyme on my hands right now at this point in my life’. Made with 42BELOW Pure, apple bitters, lime thyme syrup and an artichoke aperitif the team were backed on stage by Run DMC before shedding their black tracksuits and donning cocktail aprons to make a truly classy drink.
Team USA won the ‘21st Century Punch challenge‘ early in the competition, and were strong contenders throughout, “The drink was sorted from day one but the presentation came together in the last minute on the plane, it was phenomenal,” says Todd Thrasher. US bartender of the year and judge Jim Meehan commended the team for being both confident and humble, “their level of performance and presentation was amazing” Meehan said.
Coming a close second was Team France with ‘Le Rendez-Vous’ which they served alongside a dessert also created on stage. “France was a surprise, they had been lagging before tonight” said 42BELOW global vodka professor, Jacob Briars.
In third place was home favourites; Team New Zealand with ‘42 Cuba St’. The team of Josh Crawford, Calem Chadwick and James Goggin displayed a never before seen technique of ‘flazing‘ – using dry ice to aerate the drink instead of flames. Their cocktail contained 42BELOW Manuka Honey, chocolate and decanter bitters and a spray of gunpowder and over-proof rums. Founder and editor of ‘Class‘ magazine Simon Difford said the NZ drink was classy, and his favourite tasting drink of the night.
The Irish kicked off the kick ass competition wearing their trademark emerald green velour tracksuits and using their national tipple to create ‘Wilde Honey Porter‘.
Team London had some of the most ‘turbulent’ CWC experiences (contact Queenstown police for more information) but made consistently good cocktails. They said it had been the experience of their lives “being woken up at 7am to do crazy things and then having cocktail competitions in the most beautiful settings in the world was truly awesome,” says team member Danny Winter.
The winners were chosen in a spectacular live grand final event themed ‘Love, Drinks and Rock n Roll, baby‘ at Wellington’s old museum building. The sold out event featured the eight teams including France, Italy, USA, Australia, UK, Ireland, London and New Zealand. They were joined on stage by real life rockers, not pseudo bar tending ones, Midnight Youth.
The teams have had a week like no other, arriving in Queenstown and immediately being thrown more than 42 metres off a bridge above the Kawerau River- with a bungy cord attached to their feet.
From there they were treated to a traditional Maori welcome, a degustation dinner with matching cocktails, a rock star party, helicopter rides and a series of adrenalin pumping activities.
It is almost exactly ten years since the first bottle of 42BELOW was sold in Wellington, it went from Geoff Ross’s garage to being sold in over 20 countries and in some of the best bars and clubs around the world. The 42BELOW Cocktail World cup is it’s signature event and widely considered to be one of the best and most extreme bar tending competitions in the world. Congratulations Team USA!