“I wish the Prime Ministers were here to see the importance of the job we do. In times of economic troubles we are the ones who make people happy,” Those were the closing words of Francesco Lafranconi, judge of the 2008 42 Below Cocktail World Cup, held this weekend. Idealog couldn’t agree more.
We were centre stage to watch the final nine teams (whittled down from thousands of bar tenders around the world) blend chemistry, with food technology, with entertainment, with marketing, and of course a heavy dousing of vodka.
The final 45 bar tenders were a little spent, with many of the cocktails focusing on the medicinal properties of liquor. This could have been due to the fact that they’d been driven directly from Queenstown airport, to the bungy jumping platform, then challenged to a free pour comp, as well as multiple extreme drinking feats during the week-long event.
The final winner, Team London, was declared on Saturday, after concocting its own version of British ale. Team member, JJ Goodman, was suitably overwhelmed. “Bar tending has never been stronger,” says Goodman. “We’re just seeing the new generation of cocktail kings coming through, and they’re showing innovative thinking, creating creations outside the box. 42 stand for innovation and entertainment, and this competition has thrust New Zealand into the hospitality limelight.”
We think this was Geoff Ross’s goal when he came up with the event. Meet Mr Ross on the Idealog TV set.