BILBAO, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After three days of shaking and stirring in Bilbao, Spain, elit® Vodka is delighted to announce that Tom Sipos of the Austrian Bar Academy is the winner of the esteemed elit® Art of the Martini challenge. Now in its third year, elit Vodka Art of the Martini is the biggest global city-based drinks competition, pitting the world’s best bartenders against one another in their home countries before inviting the 20 finalists to the Basque Country for a celebration of imagination and freedom, of purity and precision, and to rethink the hardest cocktail of them all – the martini – in the spirit of elit Vodka.
Alessandro Palazzi, head bartender and Master of the Martini at Dukes London, Juan Valls of The Lost Child Cocktail Bar in Spain, and Simone Bodini, International Brand Ambassador for elit Vodka served as judges this year. Central to their scoring was each bartender’s vision and how they connected elit to the spirit of the Russian avant-garde: a reverence to the past but also a radical reinterpretation of the form, be it an innovative serve or unexpected theatre, that is characteristic of the host craft vodka – the premium base ingredient for all entries. The 20 city winners also undertook a series of demanding challenges during their three-day stay including masterclasses with the judges, with the head chef at Neruea at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Josean Alija, and with one of the leading proponents of Spanish Sculpture in the 1980s, contemporary artist Pello Irazu.
“Remember, for a winning martini, complexity is not the only way. You don’t need to travel space and time to gather a collection of really rare or expensive ingredients,” said Bodini. “You need to find the right ones and sometimes, as with this year, simplicity is key, especially in highlighting and complementing the base spirit.”
In addition to being awarded the title of Global Winner, Austrian barman Tom Sipos receives a trip to Europe’s leading bar industry show, Bar Convent Berlin in October. All 20 finalists attended The World’s 50 Best Restaurants – the gastronomic Oscars – red carpet award ceremony and after-party as part of the proceedings. To reach the global finals, the bartenders had to create their take on the martini with elit Vodka as the main spirit and showcase a local ingredient. For two months, the martini was promoted in their establishment before the respective city final, where three industry leaders in spirits selected each city’s representative to battle it out for the title.
“We were delighted to host the world’s most visionary martini makers at the final of the elit Vodka Art of the Martini competition. This is the first year elit Vodka has been the official vodka partner to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The ‘Oscars’ of the restaurant and chef world, these awards celebrate the very highest standards in the culinary arts. It therefore made perfect sense for our exquisitely structured, precise vodka – which elevates centuries of vodka tradition to hi-tech art - to honour all those who are achieving breakthrough excellence in gastronomy and mixology.” Frances Gaillard, International Marketing Director, elit Vodka and Stoli Group.
About elit® Vodka
elit® Vodka is among the world’s highest-rated white spirits and is drinking pleasure at its most precise. Every stage in the creation of elit® is a fusion of passion and precision. elit is a single-source vodka, with its high-quality grains harvested at its estate in Russia’s Tambov region before traveling to Latvijas Balzams where they are blended with artesian well water. The spirit then is filtered twice through super-fine quartz sand and Russian birch wood charcoal and brought down to -18 degrees Celsius through elit’s signature freeze-filtration process. The result is remarkable luminosity and a spirit without equal. elit is a part of the Stoli Group portfolio of premium and super-premium spirits.