This past Monday, June 20th, fourteen bartenders from around the south made their way to Bodega to attend Disaronno’s Mixing Star Masterclass and Mystery Box Challenge. The masterclass was given by Disaronno’s Southeast U.S. Brand Ambassador, Matt Hirsch, who reflected on the history and components of this almost 500-year-old spirit along with Simon Difford’s “5 Styles of Mixing.”
After that though, the real party began as we chowed down on some of Bodega’s delicious tacos, drank some Disaronno punch, and got the Mystery Box Challenge underway.
The mystery box consisted of various ingredients that the bartenders had to use at least one of in their cocktail. Going in groups of three or four, all fourteen bartenders had one shot at making a cocktail that hopefully would get them in the top five and thus help them move on to the next round of this year’s Disaronno Mixing Star.
Plenty of delicious cocktails were created, with one seemingly better than the next. The styles ranged from classic style spirit forward cocktails to very creative multi ingredient tiki style cocktails, but only five could remain supreme.
Coming out on top this year were the Cilantro Contigo by Will Thompson (The Local Craft Food & Drink -Coral Gables, FL), the Eat & Drink with Disaronno by Kabir Akbani (EAST Miami – Miami, FL), the AmaRon Burgundy’s Apartment by Erin Davey (The Mandarin Hide – St. Petersburg, FL), Italian Summer Nights by Karl Lipscomb (Beaker & Gray – Miami, FL), and Romance in the Fog by Nikos Mantzaridis (Beaker & Gray – Miami, FL).
Now they’ve been tasked to create a cocktail on their own, each in a different style from the “5 Styles of Mixing.” Those cocktails will be judged by Simon Difford himself with one bartender from the U.S. being selected to showcase their talents on the world stage this fall in Europe.
Curious about Simon Difford’s “5 Styles of Mixing”? Find out more here: http://www.diffordsguide.com/encyclopedia/2016-04-19/1104/cocktails/the-five-great-bartending-styles