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Celebrating Excellence: Team USA's Triumphs at the World Cocktail Competition in Rome

Lisa M
Lisa McMillan
December 12, 2023

Recently, the global stage of mixology witnessed an exhilarating showdown in Rome, Italy, where the world's finest bartenders converged for the World Cocktail Competition. Team USA, comprising the remarkable talents of Felipe Castro Castillo and Flair Competitor Colby Good, showcased their expertise with the unwavering support of USBG Board Members T. Cole Newton, Bobby Dagostino, and Ingrid Rodriguez. Guided by the expertise of Team USA's Flair Coach Rob Husted, whose invaluable support and strategic execution primed the US Flair competition before the competitors headed to WCC, these gifted individuals represented their country on a stage that hosted 64 countries, vying for top honors. Amidst the palpable energy and camaraderie, the team, mentored and prepared by Husted, demonstrated unparalleled bartending skills, standing out among the global competitors.

The competition was a testament to the pinnacle of bartending skill, where each round pitted these gifted mixologists head-to-head, culminating in a display of creativity, precision, and flair. Here, we delve into the highlights that illuminated this fierce and captivating event.

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IBA WCC rome IBA WCC recap IBA WCC Recap

Classic World Cocktail Competition Highlights

World Bartender of the Year:

  • Leo Ko from Hong Kong claimed the coveted title.
  • Jose Valentin from Puerto Rico secured the esteemed position of First Runner Up.
  • Atilla Bus from Hungary showcased remarkable expertise as the Second Runner Up.

Flair World Cocktail Competition Standouts

World Bartender of the Year:

  • Roman Zapata from Argentina shone brightly as the champion.
  • Deniss Trifanovs from Latvia soared to the position of First Runner Up.
  • Kacper Smarz from Poland exhibited remarkable flair as the Second Runner Up.

Outstanding Accolades and Awards

The prestigious Angelo Zola Prestige Award honored the excellence of Hidetsugu Ueno from Japan, recognizing his exceptional contributions to the craft.

Exceptional cocktails were celebrated across diverse categories:

  • Before Dinner Category: Nick Vrielink from the Netherlands claimed the title of Cocktail of the Year.
  • Long Drink Category: Christos Voglis from Greece astounded judges with the Cocktail of the Year.
  • Sparkling Category: Deniss Trifanovs from Latvia showcased mastery, securing the Cocktail of the Year.
  • After Dinner Category: Jose Valentin from Puerto Rico delighted palates and won Cocktail of the Year.
  • Low ABV Category: Leo Ko from Hong Kong demonstrated finesse, emerging victorious with the Cocktail of the Year.

The event not only celebrated the artistry of mixology but also served as a platform to recognize innovation, skill, and creativity within the global bartending community. These achievements stand as a testament to the dedication and talent of bartenders worldwide, setting new benchmarks in the craft of cocktail creation.

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