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Art of Italicus cocktail contest returns for 2024

The sixth edition of the Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge has opened for entries to bartenders in 13 countries.

Applications for the competition are open until 20 February

The programme sees bartenders from around the world attempt to make original, art-inspired aperitivo cocktails using Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto.

Fabrizio Candino of Italy’s Sartoria Cocktail Bar was named winner of last year’s edition.

Bartenders based in 13 countries can enter, which include Croatia, Slovenia, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Bartenders not based in those countries can still apply via a ‘wild card’ entry, which gives them a chance to win a spot at the global final in Rome, Italy.

“Now in its sixth year, the Art of Italicus Aperitivo Challenge celebrates aperitivo culture while encouraging bartenders to express their creativity, looking to art in its various forms as a way of inspiration,” said Giuseppe Gallo, the brand’s founder and CEO.

“Meeting with the industry’s emerging talent through this program gives me a great deal of pride and is something I hope continues for many years as a way of keeping our community connected, working together and empowering one another.”

The competition

For 2024, the competition will be divided into three stages, starting with an initial contesting period where competitors must make an aperitivo cocktail using a minimum 40ml of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto and a maximum of five ingredients.

Cocktails must contain a minimum 40ml of Italicus

These must be produced alongside an image, measurements, garnishes and glassware recommendations. Inspiration and story behind the creation is also required, as well as a food pairing.

Applications can be submitted on the Italicus website until 20 February.

The next stage will then see eight shortlisted bartenders move onto the national finals – held from 4 March to 12 April. Here, the nominated parties will present their drinks to a judging panel.

Lastly, the third and final stage will then see the winners from the national heats compete in the global final, held in Rome on 12 May.

The victorious bartender will not only be crowned Italicus Bar Artist of the Year 2024, but will also win a trip to Miami for a mentorship programme with Julio Cabrera’s Cafe La Trova, regarded as one of the world’s best bars.

Ahead of the competition, entrants are also encouraged to test and share their serves on social media using the hashtags #Italicus, #Rosoliodibergamotto, #Artofitalicus and #AOI24.

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