UKBG announces UK National Final winner
Lucia Montanelli of The Dorchester in London has been crowned UKBG National Champion following an intense grand final.
Montanelli wowed the judging panel with her cocktail, Orange Pekoe; a combination of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, De Kuyper Lapsang Souchong Tea Liqueur, Grand Marnier, Amarena Fabri Syrup, Bob’s Bitter Orange & Mandarin and lemon juice.
Her win marks the fourth time in 10 years that a bartender from the five-star hotel bar has scooped the accolade.
She will represent the UKBG in Tokyo next year in the 2016 International Bartenders Association World Final on an all-expenses-paid five-day trip.
The competition – sponsored by De Kuyper liqueurs – took place at Hush brasserie and cocktail bar in Mayfair, where Montanelli competed against nine other bartenders who qualified in regional heats: Sebastian Ryszard Kasyna of Coq d’Argent; Enrico Gonzato of The Connaught Bar; Oscar Carletti of Hakkasan; Daniel Stepien of Coq d’Argent; Alessandro Pizzoli of Kensington Hotel; Charley Gery of Zander Bar; Michal Buben of The Wright Brothers in Soho; Gianfranco Cacciola of the Four Seasons Park Lane; and Kelly Harrison of Coast to Coast in Birmingham.
Stepien attained second place with his cocktail Green Hope, while third place was awarded to Gery for Breakfast at Caracas.
Mike Sweetman, vice president of the UKBG, said: “It was a very intense competition as there were some very good cocktails made, the standard was very high which made for a hard job for our panel of judges who were Peter Dorelli, Pedro Paulo, Maciej Urbanski, Boris Ivan, Annie Hayes, Tiago Mira, Walter Pintus, and Su-Lin Ong.
“Our grateful thanks to our sponsor Paul Curry from William Grant and Sons, to Pedro Solorzana, bar manager of Hush for hosting the event, to all the competitors and judges, and also our very good photographer Tom Elms.
“We wish Lucia all the very best for her forthcoming challenge in the IBA World championships in Tokyo next year.”