The inaugural Brugal 1888 Nearly Neat global rum cocktail competition has completed its first round of heats to reveal its UK finalists. Winners Daniel Stępień of The Ritz and Giulia Cuccurullo of Artesian were among the eight bartenders tasked with creating serves using as few ingredients as possible to enrich the flavours of Brugal 1888.
Judges Pavol Kazimir, Pepijn Van Den Abeele, Alex Kratena and Monica Berg had the difficult task of choosing the winners at the event, which was held at newly opened bar The Parrot in London’s Waldorf Hilton. It was a tall order, with bartenders such as Ciprian Zsragaa (American Bar at The Savoy), Georgia Billing (Din Tai Fung) and Brendan Soprano (Filter and Fox, Liverpool) among the competitors.
‘It was very tough deciding who the finalists from the UK would be,’ said Brugal 1888 brand ambassador Pavol Kazimir, ‘but we were so impressed by the serves created by both Daniel and Giulia. Their passion and flair on the day embodied the spirit of the Brugal 1888 – encapsulating everything that the competition is about. I am very excited to see their next performance in the global final.’
Stępień and Cuccurullo will now join eight other global competitors in the Dominican Republic, Brugal’s home, to participate in the final serve challenge. The winner will be crowned Brugal 1888’s ‘Sipping Society Maestro’, with the winning cocktail becoming the Brugal 1888 signature serve.
The winning serves
By Daniel Stępień
Glass: Atlantic coupette
45ml Brugal 1888
By Giulia Cuccurullo
Glass: Large wine glass
60ml Brugal 1888