Run The Mix, the best Italian bartender team comes from the South – Italian Cuisine

Here are the winners of the team competition promoted by Pernod Ricard to enhance Italian mixology

The gold medal for the best Italian bartender team flies to the South. It ended in fact with the victory of the Southern Runners led by Matteo Bonandrini and Alexander Frezza the first edition of Run The Mix, the competition for talent of the tricolor mixology proposed by Pernod Ricard. That yes, he wanted to evaluate creativity in creating new cocktails and the ability to prepare them, but also the ability to present everything in an appealing way, to respect service times and establish an immediate and effective relationship with the customer.

The rules

The spaces of IT, in that of Milan, hosted the three finalist teams, divided by geographical origin. Nordic Runners, Middle Runners Southern Runners, coming respectively from North, Central and South Italy, found themselves having to propose a sequence of cocktails designed ad hoc for the challenge, served in combination with special dishes that have highlighted the possibilities in terms of food pairing. Everything was then presented to a jury of experts, who assessed the teams' performance by adopting peculiar points of view: Francesco Cione Bar Manager of the Octavius ​​in Milan evaluated the technique; Marco Sacco, starred chef owner of the Piccolo Lago di Verbania, the ability to surprise, enhance and entertain through food pairing; Lucia Stragapede, founder of Pastichéri, the ability of to sell and customer loyalty; Nelum Francesca Caramini and Gabriele Litta, drink stylist owners of Fluffer Studio, the beauty of the presentation and the harmony between aesthetics and taste; Alberto Vaccaro, coach certified by the World Association of Business Coaches, empathy with the client and the ability to relate.

The Civetta cocktail.

The winners

The three drinks presented by the Southern Runners to the jury somehow wanted to retrace the phases of every man's life: youth, adolescence and maturity. hummingbird, the first of the proposed cocktails, played on the union of citrus, cocoa and vodka scents Absolut Elyx. On the other hand, the suggestions in the glass of Punk, where the banana met the notes of Tequila Altos. The drink christened Owland finally concluded the service with the complexity – and therefore maturity – of whiskey Jameson Black Barrel. Riccardo Russo and Ugo Acampora from Naples, Giuseppe Milillo from Giovinazzo and the two under 30s Luigi Rosario Grasso from Catania and Giovanni Maffeo from Lecce, together with captains Matteo Bonandrini and Alexander Frezza, have thus won the honor of winning this first edition of Run The Mix. For them also a trip to London to discover the Beefeater world and the most renowned places of British mixology. The perfection of the simplicity of food pairing, the elegance of the presentation and the balance in the garnish, the opening towards the customer and the strong cohesion of ideas, styles and knowledge have led the team of the South to triumph over those of the North and of the Center, second and third place respectively.

Summer trends

"I am convinced that what my team has been able to propose fully reflects the current trends in our sector", he underlines Matteo Bonandrini, captain of the Southern Runners and bartender of the Mak Mixology of Palermo. «The search for the best quality ingredients, of course, but also a substantial reduction in alcohol content, in favor of aromas and flavors that wink at distant lands. It is no coincidence that among the most popular distillates of the season there is undoubtedly tequila, a precious product ready to be finally valued properly, which inevitably brings with it a load of tropical scents perfect for the summer ".

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