Updated: Mar 29
Over 300 entries from all over Italy to take part in what is one of the most intriguing cocktail competitions of our time. The challenges are tough, the judges legendary & most of all its set in the beautiful backdrop of the Amalfi Coast. After 3 days spending together in this wonderful part of Italy we left with a new family, new knowledge & experiences I haven't seen anywhere else in the world. From the bottom of our hearts we’d like to thank Salvatore Calabrese for inviting Cocktails For You for being part of the experience this year! Now, on to the details…
3in-1 Challenge: The premise is a simple 3-in-1 challenge style event with a backdrop of an ancient castle on top of the mountains of Maori. First up we had Jeff 'Beachbum' Berry judging the Tiki round, Peter Dorelli judging the Classics round & Salvatore himself looking at the Collins round. It was a conveyor round robin style cocktail competition so you couldn't relax & had to constantly think on your feet as you go between takes. Then you're thrown behind a camera, forced to answer confusing questions & tested on a modern Tiki classic that no one managed to answer properly. The question was simple - What is the recipe of the Scorpion Bowl?
Shakerato Wild: This was what everyone was waiting for the entire day, a 500mph speedboat on which you have to make a simply Wild Turkey & Campari Shakerato. Recipe was straightforward & simple whilst the brooding sea & eager captain were there to knock you off your feet! 45ml Campari 15ml Wld Turkey Bourbon 2 Dashes of Orange Bitters Method: Shake it like you mean it!
Judges were looking for wash lines in the glass, overall taste & the mess caused on the boat!
Grand Final: The stage was set under the backdrop of the same castle, there was over 1000 people in attendance in the crowd from all over the Amalfi Coast. Most importantly Salvatore Calabrese somehow invented a time machine to bring back an 80s rockstar to Italy as the singer in between rounds. There was rivers of Spumante & since the whole thing was being held in the open air we were the happiest people alive! Under the moonlight sky of Maori the final 14 battled for the prestige of being the champion of the Maestro Challenge 2019.
Summary: Juan Pablo Pollicino of El Porteño of Milan is the winner of the fifth edition of the Maestro Challenge organized by the Mixart Association. The competition staged on June 24th and 25th in the beautiful setting of Maiori, pearl of the Amalfi Coast, had a very challenging theme this year: to create original cocktail recipes inspired by the extraordinary career of Maestro Salvatore Calabrese. In practice, translating creativity, passion, elegance and, above all, the ability to make dreams that characterize every Calabrese creation into a drink and, more generally, make it the trademark of his art.