A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The winning team defeated crews from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, plus all-star and wildcard trios.
Team USA was made up of Beckaly Franks from Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon; Steve Schneider from Employees Only, New York; and Ken Kodys from Breckenridge Brewery, Denver, Colorado.
Organisers said Franks, Schneider and Kodys produced balanced and well executed drinks and delivered a “highly choreographed” stage show.
In keeping with the event’s theme, Lab Experiment, Team USA centred their performance around the American comic The Incredible Hulk.
In what Bacardi described as an “incredibly tightly contested final”, Team New Zealand took second place with Team Great Britain coming in third.
The judging panel comprised New Zealander Jacob Briars, the UK’s Tony Conigliaro, Australian Marco Faraone and American bartender John Lermayer.
Lermayer said: “They are three very different individuals but they had a lot of national pride. They managed to take three different styles and morph them together. They were the tightest team of the week and it stood out.”
Team USA’s Formula 42 cocktail recipe was as follows:
45mls 42 Below Pure
15mls fresh lemon juice
7.5mls fresh lime juice
22.5mls passion fruit and champagne vinegar
5mls green chili-infused Chartreuse
15mls black pepper-infused egg white
‘Cucumber air’ garnish
Shake and served in a small Rocks glass. Top with ‘cucumber air’.