2019 winners

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Italicus Art of Aperitivo Challenge 2019

Words by Paloma Alos

Photography by Coctel TV

The global final of the second Italicus Art of Apertivo challenge touched down in Spain on 4 November 2019.

Hosted by the fabulous Italicus ambassador duo Luca Missaglia and Haley Forest at Paradiso, Barcelona, 12 finalists from countries around the world came together to showcase their Italicus apertivo cocktail.

Inspired by a form of art or an artist, the cocktails and the stories behind them were a product of each bartender's passion...from street art to perfumery to flamenco.

The judging panel, made up of Giuseppe Gallo, Founder of Italicus, Giacomo Giannotti, owner of Paradiso and myself from Difford's Guide, had the difficult task of selecting just one worthy winner and two runners-up. After some excellent cocktails were showcased by the finalists our decision was unanimous and we were delighted to announce Celia Bugallo from Kwãnt, London as the 2019 Italicus Bar Artist of the Year. Her cocktail, The Three of Us, is a simple, elegant drink including Italicus, a blend of oloroso sherry and sake, rosemary and grapefruit tonic, enhanced with a hint of coffee aroma. It was this, combined with her uplifting presentation inspired by an iconic female flamenco dancer which impressed all. Not least because Celia used to be a flamenco dancer herself.

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Celia wins a trip to New York City for a unique experience behind the bar at Nomad, one of the world's top bars.

Second place was awarded to Dario Doimo from Mr Coco, Las Vegas, USA for his beautiful apertivo presentation, including his imaginative crisp / chip bowl made from an Italicus bottle.

Third place went to Melissa Coutant from Cafe Moderne, Paris, France. Not only was her cocktail extremely tasty but her knowledge of the brand stood out.

Congratulations to all 12 finalists. The judges very much enjoyed all your drinks and presentations. Gracias to the team at Paradiso for their hospitality.

Below all finalists and their drinks.

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Celia Bugallo - Winner

London, UK

The Three of Us

45ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
25ml oloroso sherry
15ml coffee infused sake
60ml rosemary and grapefruit tonic

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Dario Doimo - 2nd place runner-up

Mr Coco
Las Vegas, USA

Pink Mist

45ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
30ml Galliano Aperitivo
15ml Alessio Bianco
15ml Lustau Los Arcos Sherry
2 dashes Scrappy Black Lemon Bitters

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Melissa Coutant - 3rd place runner-up

Cafe Moderne
Paris, France

Acqua Angelica

40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
20ml modified verjus
20ml house vespetro
25ml gin
10ml mezcal
6 drops saline solution

In order of presentation...

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Carmine Di Marino

Svanen Cocktail Bar
Oslo, Norway


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
20ml plum liqueur
10ml champagne acid
Top with brut champagne

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Lucas Kelm

Amo, Venice, Italy


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
40ml Art bitter
50ml white wine
1 dash bergamotto essence

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Giuseppe Lilliu

Amsterdam, Netherlands


45ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
20ml Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
90ml Fever Tree Indian Tonis
2.5ml coffee powder

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Artem Talalay

Sakhalin Restaurant
Moscow, Russia

Modern Game

40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
120ml CO2 Sauvignon Blanc cordial
5ml gentian liqueur

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Peggy Knuth

Ritz Carlton, Fragrances Bar
Berlin, Germany

Essentia Ros Ollis

40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
10ml Freimeister Rosemary Geist
15ml Aqua di Parma syrup
20ml Lemon juice
40ml Butterfly pea sparkling jasmine tea

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Constantinos Kazelis

Lost & Found


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
25ml dry red wine
3 dash hazelnut liqueur
15ml tomato water cordial
Top with soda
3 drops basil oil

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Silvia Dorninger

Creps al Born
Barcelona, Spain


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
15ml gin
15ml acid solution
15ml olive brine
20ml fino sherry

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Dominik Csuti

Black Swan
Budapest, Hungary


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
10ml Tio Pepe sherry
20ml hopped coconut water
10ml lime juice
2 dashes cucumber salt solution

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Walker Wong

Blue Bar, Four Seasons
Hong Kong, China


40ml Italicus - Rosolio di Bergamotto
10ml lychee mango shrub
60ml prosecco
4 drops olive brine
25ml soda

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