Italicus reveals Aperitivo Challenge winner
Italian aperitivo Italicus Rosolio de Bergamotto has crowned Fabrizio Candino, of Italy’s Sartoria Cocktail Bar, as the global winner of its Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge 2023.
At the final hosted in Rome, Italy on Sunday 28 May, Candino impressed the competition’s jury with his winning cocktail, In-Vite, which paid homage to the Mediterranean vine and incorporated the concept of invitation and conviviality.
The cocktail, which was a twist on a Spritz, combined Italicus infused with stale bread with aperitivo wine and citron juice.
The unconventional use of bread ‘captivated’ both the judges and the audience.
Giuseppe Gallo, founder and CEO of Italicus, commented: “The Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge is a programme that discovers and showcases emerging talents in our industry year after year. The competition serves as a creative platform through which bartenders have the opportunity to express their artistic sensibilities while staying rooted in the Italian aperitivo cocktails tradition.
“This year, we had the honour of experiencing a competition with highly skilled bartenders, from their technique to the style of their presentations and their sustainable approach. We feel honoured to have so many talents from around the world participating in this programme with the goal of improving and growing within the industry in a more sustainable world.”
Candino has won a mentorship programme with Giacomo Giannotti, owner of Paradiso bar in Barcelona.
In second place, Johannes Sæterbø, of Svanen bar in Norway, presented the Apples & Bergamot cocktail, which aimed to express the connection between independent artistic scenes by using objects created by local artists.
Valeria Coletti, of Baccarat Bar in London, secured the third place with her cocktail Bee the Action, inspired by the Red Earth Environmental Art Group, a UK-based collective focused on sustainability through installations and artistic performances.
The final brought together bartenders from Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, the UK, and the US.
Each participant was tasked with crafting an aperitivo using Italicus as a key ingredient.
The competition aimed to highlight aperitivo drinks that drew inspiration from various forms of art, such as sculpture, design, painting, fashion, music, literature, dance and more.
This year, participants were also required to create their cocktails with sustainability in mind, avoiding waste and promoting the use of locally sourced ingredients.