Australian bartender makes Diageo final with levitating cocktail
Jack Sotti from Melbourne's Boilermaker House has been included as one of the top six finalists for this year's Diaego Reserve World Class Global Competition, held in Cape Town.
Starting with a group of the world's top 54 bartenders, the group was whittled down after three days of challenges to just six.
Sotti secured his spot by creating the Stealth Bomber Bulleit Rye cocktail – the competition's first levitating cocktail – during the 'Retro, Disco, Future' challenge.
"When I started my World Class journey I never dreamed of making it this far. But from the moment the judges announced that I had won the Australian grand finals, I set the goal of making it to the final six. I can't believe I'm here," he said.
The other grand finalists are:
- Viteslav Cirok of the Czech Republic
- Alistair Reynolds of Great Britain
- Manolis Lykiardopoulos of Greece
- Ariel Leizgold of Israel, and
- Michito Kaneko of Japan
According to judges, Scotti (pictured above) excelled in two categories: Street Food Jam and Retro, Disco, Future. For the former, which was inspired by the diversity of Cape Town's tastes and aromas, tested the finalists' ability to incorporate unusual ingredients into their cocktails by matching Ketel One Vodka and Ron Zacapa Rum to a duo of dishes prepared by Italian chef Luca Castiglione.
In the Retro, Disco Future category, bartenders were asked to infuse the spirit of three distinct eras into three one-of-a-kind cocktails: the old school chic of the 19th century up to the Prohibition era; the dance-floor kitsch of the 70s and 80s; and the trends of the future. For this Scotti used a bespoke magnetic platform, Bulleit Rye American Whiskey, fresh lemon juice, Campari, Branca Menta and a pinch of salt.
The six finalists will spend time at One&Only's resorts around the world where they will create bespoke menus and signature cocktails for customers. They'll also receive a Tanqueray Champion Shaker and will go head to head in the Cape Town Shakedown Challenge, where they will each create a pop-up bar representing their personal vision of the world's best bar.
The World Class Bartender of the Year winner for 2015 will be announced on Saturday at Cape Town City Hall.