Having been selected to represent New Zealand, bartenders
Guy Jacobson (left), Gian Jesus and Barney Toy are aiming
for a superhero performance in the 42 Below Cocktail World
Cup. Photo Christina McDonald.
Amid animal-headed, lab-coat-wearing creatures,
international barmen and women met in Queenstown yesterday to
begin a week-long cocktail competition.
This year's 42 Below Cocktail World Cup theme is "Lab
Throughout the week bartenders will attend seminars related
to the industry, take part in extreme activities and compete
to be crowned world champions.
The New Zealand team was announced on July 29 and team member
Barney Toy said he hoped all the late-night phone calls and
text messages between him and the other members would result
in New Zealand's first win.
The team had devised a new "concept" for its signature drink.
"New Zealand has always placed second or third and we are
going for it this year.
"We're trying to do something that's never been done.
"We have to think of new ways to deliver them [cocktails] so
we have figured out a new concept, a twist on a concept."
42 Below judge and vodka professor Jacob Briar said the
competition had had a positive effect on local bartenders who
are influenced and encouraged by some of the world's best.
Mr Briar said the New Zealand team made it through "rigorous"
testing and all exhibit "three very different personalities
and different skill sets".
The final event will be in Auckland on Friday, but once again
the bulk of the competition would be based in Queenstown.