Tom Cruise would be proud.
Yesterday was the final round of the 35th annual World Cocktail Championship, hosted in Berlin.
There were two separate competitions to be won (and I would have had no chance at either of them). One was to make the best drink. Pretty simple. The other was to put on the best show while making a drink. Not as simple.
By all accounts, it was quite a show. With more than 800 bartenders from 52 countries going head-to-head, the atmosphere was electric. Thumping music, crazy bartending antics, and an enthusiastic crowd all made for a memorable evening.
An Italian-born British guy named Gianluigi Bosco took home the Flair Competition (the one about putting on a show). He took the top prize home by putting on a felt hat, blasting “My Sharona,” and juggling apple juice and vodka bottles. His winning drink was named “Absolutley Rocking” (misspelling intended).
As for the Classic Competition (the one about actually making the best-tasting drink), that was taken home by a Slovak bartender named Vladimir Banak. His winning drink was called “Sweet Road.”
The competition is hosted every year by the International Bartenders’ Association. The winning bartenders get prestige, plenty of publicity, and all kinds of extra event opportunities. The judges get tipsy.