Italicus names US Aperitivo Challenge winner
Italian aperitivo Italicus Rosolio de Bergamotto has crowned Loiver Hernandez, of Cafè La Trova in Miami, as the US winner of the Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge 2023.
Hernandez won the competition’s national US final for his cocktail Eucharist, which was inspired by The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.
In the cocktail, Italicus’ citrus and floral notes are blended with a manzanilla Sherry wine, lemon, and grapefruit with a touch of bitterness, served with bruschetta and olive pate on the side to reference the wine and bread shared in the famous Da Vinci painting.
For the 2023 edition of the competition, bartenders across the country were asked to craft an art-inspired cocktail using each ingredient ‘at its full potential’ to limit waste.
During the national final hosted at newly opened Medium Cool in Miami, US, the judging panel – which included Italicus founder Giuseppe Gallo, chef Adrienne Calvo, and Shoshin Art Club founder Valentino Longo – said it was moved by the contestants’ commitment to find more sustainable practices to apply to their creations while showing a high level of technique.
Gallo commented: “The Art of Italicus is a programme based on our brand innovation DNA; every year we are proud to see many bartenders sharing with us their passion and creativity, and express their love for the brand with their emotional stories and recipes.”
Hernandez’s prize includes a year’s membership to the learning platform Shoshin Art Club, and a trip to Rome to compete at the global final on 28 May, the day before the international Roma Bar Show.
The global winner will receive the coveted title of Global Italicus Bar Artist of the Year 2023, and a trip with a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ mentorship programme to Paradiso, Barcelona.
Runners-up in the US final included Aline Tongkhuya of Modernist in Fresno, California, with her cocktail The Tempress, and Noah Eagan-Rowe from The Aviary in Chicago, Illinois, with his cocktail (Don’t Always) Obey.