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Australian team shakes up Cocktail World Cup

Australian team shakes up Cocktail World Cup

Queenstown, Thursday 22nd September - New Zealand has never seen such a fine display of world class cocktails as it did today on Coronet Peak, at the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup. Among an immensely high standard of drinks, Australia's Southern Region team were just able to edge out teams from Los Angeles (second place), West London and North-East Asia (tied equal in third place) today on the ice bar. The team consisting of Richie Boucher - Ginger, Melbourne, Jason Chan - Batch, Melbourne and Andy Freeman from Luxe Bar, Perth produced their signature drink 'Floral Frenzy' which has been described by Jason Chan as "an extremely delicate and three dimensional drink that balances the sweetness of the whip, with the tart and spicy undertones of the spirit and juice mix, against the fragrant and aromatic nature of the geranium water".

The winning recipe for 'Floral Frenzy' was:

45 mls (1 ½ oz) 42 Below Passionfruit

30 mls (1 oz) Jaggard Lemon Myrtille

15 mls (1/2 oz) Massenez crème de gingembre

30 mls (1 oz) pressed apple juice

30 mls (1 oz) guava nectar

2 drops of geranium water

½ vanilla pod

Agavero to rinse

Top with egg white, sugar, lavender and vanilla bean whip. Serve in collins glass with ice. Garnish with a single geranium flower.

'Floral Frenzy' was enough to impress international judging panel which consisted of:

Rex Morgan - New Zealand's Best Food and Wine Expert 2005.

Charlotte Voisey - Voted Best UK Bartender 2005.

Naren Young - Australian Food & Beverage Journalist and mixologist

Rory Ross - UK Journalist writing for the The Independent

Mark Ellwood - New York spirits, travel and trends writer

Henry Rimmer - FHM Asia editor and spirits expert.

"On the whole, we saw some amazing raw talent today from all over the world." says New Zealand judge Rex Morgan. "The winning team was a class act with great innovation, stylish presentation and finesse. The cocktail had a great taste."

Coming in a smidgen behind 3rd place was the South Island New Zealand team (The Vodafone Stirrers) who performed to Fat Freddy's Drop in matching pacific sarongs. Their cocktail "Aoteoroa" used 42 Below Kiwifruit vodka, muddled kiwifruit, two different vanilla liqueurs, vanilla, a star anise and saffron syrup, topped wth an eggwhite foam, grated cinnamon and vanilla pod to create a floating 'white cloud'. The team consisting of Riki Carter from Good Luck Bar in Wellington, Blake Head from Winnie Bagoes in Christchurch, Damian Hammond from Apartment 1 in Wanaka wanted to proudly bring 'The Land Of The Long White Cloud' onto the stage.

"The Vodafone Stirrers represented cocktail trends within New Zealand with a fantastic representation of New Zealand flavours and theme" says Rex Morgan.

With drinks mixology now a well recognised worldwide profession, especially in western cosmopolitan cities, the Cocktail World Cup was designed to provide bartenders the opportunity to work with the best from their local area and country in a peering environment to share knowledge of techniques, flavours and ingredients. For three days prior to the competition all the bar tenders have competed in Extreme Cocktails which has worked to provide a series of team building exercises including jet boating, bungy jumping, downhill tube racing and helicopter rides. Each night has been a series of cocktail workshops that have enabled the teams to assess ingredients flavours and techniques for the competition - with an eventual decision made on a single drink for submission.

42 BELOW's Chief Vodka Bloke, Geoff Ross says, "There's no doubt that everyone of these bartenders will go home with a greater depth of understanding. It's always been our goal to make our most important market - the bartenders - feel that 42 BELOW not only produces some of the best and most unique products in the world, but that we aim to provide them with the opportunity to grow in their profession in a unique way like the Cocktail World Cup.

Aside from a truly international event with bartenders competing from some of the best and most well known cocktail bars in the world, the event itself was held in a purpose built ice bar on the side of Queenstown's skiing mecca Coronet Peak. A clear day and the stunning backdrop of the Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range provided a spectacular setting for the competition. With the help of travel partner Air New Zealand and communications partner Vodafone, 42 BELOW have chosen to bring the world's best bartenders to New Zealand to show them first hand the clean and pristine environment in which 42 Below vodka is made. There is no doubt that with New Zealand's GE free wheat, volcanic spring water which achieves the highest purity rating in the world and the clean air and environment, it makes perfect sense that 42 Below vodka be made here in New Zealand.

The Cocktail World Cup caps off a blockbuster year for 42 BELOW have become the most awarded vodka brand in the world. Recent award wins for the brand's pure and flavoured products, as well as SOUTH premium gin, have established the portfolio among the world's elite premium white spirit brands. Over the past two years, 42 BELOW has been the most consistent medal winner at the world's finest tasting awards including the International Wine and Spirit Competition in Germany, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the International Institute for Quality Selections 'Monde Selection' in Brussels.

42 BELOW can now been seen on the cocktail lists of some of the world's most exclusive bars and clubs including The Ritz in London and Paris, The George V hotel in Paris, Beverly Hills Hotel, Bungalow 8 in New York and The Shore Club in Miami. The brand is now the No.1 super premium vodka brand in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand and has increased sales from 20 thousand cases to 55 thousand cases and have projected sales of 90 thousand cases in 2006.

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