Last weekend, thirty-nine of the world’s most visionary bartenders gathered in Ibiza for the ultimate martini making face-off. The one in a lifetime opportunity saw participants bringing their creations in front of a powerhouse of judges, all set to uncover the world’s most exclusive martini.
Battling four fellow finalists from Venice, Milan, Barcelona and Beirut, Will Meredith of Dandelyan (London), won over the judges with his Andean Copper, a refined take on the classic cocktail using the limited edition elit™ pristine water series: Andean edition as a base. A zing of Kaffir lime and the earthy aroma of dark truffle perfectly complemented the spirit’s bright citrus and honeyed vanilla notes.
Picking up his award, the Dandelyan Senior Bartender explained the inspiration behind his creation: “My favourite part about being a bartender is meeting so many different people, hearing their stories and serving them a cocktail they will remember. I’ve enjoyed every step of this competition and with my final martini, I wanted to invite all the amazing people who were part of it, judges and bartenders, to enjoy a drink with me. With my serve, I aimed for sophistication through simplicity and took inspiration from the exquisite purity of elit™ pristine water series: Andean Edition.”
The judging panel who crowned Meredith the champion of this year’s elit art of martini Competition was made up of industry experts from the worlds of mixology and gastronomy: world famous mixologist Salvatore Calabrese (The Maestro), Michelin-star chef Paco Roncero, Leo Robitschek, Bar Director Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad Hotel and Simone Bodini, Brand Ambassador elit® Vodka.
Salvatore Calabrese, creator of the renowned Direct Martini (also known as the Naked Martini) and the Breakfast Martini, commented on the winner’s performance: “You know you’re tasting a special martini when all your sense are taken on a journey, from the moment it touches your lips, to all the different flavours playing on your taste buds and the aromas left lingering on your palate. It takes pure artistry to tell a story in a glass and for me, Will’s martini story was the most memorable.”
The competition’s hero martini will be listed for a year in Paco Roncero’s Michelin-star restaurant, La Terraza del Casino in Madrid. In addition to bringing his luxurious serve to the world in a fine dining setting, Will Meredith will get the chance to further his connections in the bartending world by visiting the renowned Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans in 2018.
“The elit art of martini Global Finale was a showcase of the world’s most visionary martini makers. From over 800 entries, we met thirty-nine of the bartenders in Ibiza, where we narrowed our search to five of the best,” said Brent Lamberti, elit Vodka Global Brand Ambassador and the event’s host. “All finalists demonstrated great artistic vision and creativity. Will Meredith’s final martini, Andean Copper, stood out by highlighting the subtle notes of our limited edition elit™ pristine water series: Andean Edition with elegance and simplicity.”