Massimo Zitti named Funkin Innovation Champion

29th September, 2015 by Kristiane Sherry

Cocktail ingredients brand Funkin has announced Cane & Grain’s Massimo Zitti its 2015 Funkin Innovation Champion following a final held in London this week.

Massimo Zitti Funkin Innovation Champion

Massimo Zitti triumphed as this year’s Funkin Innovation Champion.

Manchester-based Zitti was competing against four other bartender finalists for the opportunity to work with the brand on a paid, part-time freelance basis for one year.

The finalists – Michael Stringer of BlackLeaf Events (London), Joe Macbeth of Rub Smokehouse & Bar (Nottingham), James Le Gallez of Apéritif (Guernsey) and Róbert Kecskés of Chez Chow (London), plus Zitti – had to present their ideas for the next big cocktail ingredient along with an original Funkin cocktail using any product from the FunkinPro range.

In an additional surprise task, finalists had to invent a creative cocktail using recent release, FunkinPro Citric Syrup. After tasting the syrup neat and in a Citric Gin Fizz, the bartenders were given a £40 budget and 20 minutes to purchase ingredients for their new drink.

Zitti’s winning cocktails were “Trade Cobbler”, made with FunkinPro Citric Syrup, and “Kind of Cool” using FunkinPro Passionfruit Purée.

“I like entering competitions because I love the adrenaline and the confidence it gives you, but this year I’ve been focusing on creating drinks and writing cocktail lists,” he said. “It was the idea of innovation that made me want to enter the Funkin Innovation Champion competition.”

Funkin Managing Director Andrew King added: “We had an exciting day as bartenders were put to the test and challenged to create an innovative cocktail using a brand new product, FunkinPro Citric Syrup. Cocktail innovation is at the heart of everything we do, so we were pleased to see the level of creativity that was put into their cocktails and hear about what they felt was going to be the next big cocktail trend.

“Massimo showed exceptional understanding of our products and how they work in cocktails and we were intrigued by his range of flavoured salt solutions. We are excited to welcome Massimo to the Funkin team and look forward to bringing the next wave of innovation to the on-trade.”

In July, Funkin expanded its range of single batch syrups with the launch Pro Spiced Syrup, designed “by bartenders, for bartenders”.

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