By Simon Difford
Now in its sixth year, Disaronno’s The Mixing Star Project is well-known and highly regarded but is “no longer a competition!” The 2016 Mixing Star Project is subtitled “The Next Style of Mixing”.
The change is driven by a desire for there to be no losers. Nobody likes a loser and the nice people at Disaronno want everybody who takes part to win, or at least feel they gained something. Mixing Star has morphed into a much more interesting and relevant concept.The other thing that’s new this year is that after a visit to Saronno, the home of Disaronno to see how the “Originale” amaretto is made, I’m delighted to be part of The Mixing Star Project myself and will be personally making the anticipated 155 cocktails which will be submitted to the final stage at my bar in London and serving them to the directors of Disaronno. Together, we will choose the 45 cocktails to feature along with the Mixing Stars who created them in a very special, limited edition cocktail book we will publish in time for Christmas. But as you’ll see below, every recipe that is accepted into the Project by Disaronno’s team of national and regional ambassadors will be publicized.
The 2016 Disaronno Mixing Star Project aims to
• highlight and promote up and coming bartending talent as well as established bartenders
• impart useful and interesting information via the 13 Disaronno Ambassadors and media partners (including Difford’s Guide)
• encourage the creation of new great cocktails featuring Disaronno that can become contemporary classics
The Mixing Star Project has three stages:
• STAGE 1 Recruitment
Apply online at themixingstar.com by submitting your cocktail made using Disaronno. Your local Disaronno Ambassador (see countries participating below) will select and invite the 60 bartenders who have submitted what they consider the best cocktail recipes to Master Classes being held near you. Every bartender who attends a Master Class will have the recipe they initially submitted published in a digital book being promoted by Disaronno.
• STAGE 2 Masterclasses
As you’d expect of a Master Class hosted by a Disaronno Ambassador the story of Disaronno and what sets it apart from other amarettos will be presented. The secret lies in the way Disaronno distil apricot kernels, one of the liqueurs three key ingredients, but I’ll leave it to the Ambassadors to explain.
The bulk of these Masterclasses will cover The Five Great Bartending Styles: Classic, Tiki, Molecular, Batched, Contemporary & Fun.
In keeping with The Mixing Star Project ethos of identifying and promoting great bartender talent, each Masterclass will finish with a Mystery box bartending challenge to decide the five bartenders from each Masterclass who will submit a cocktail to the next stage.
• STAGE 3 Disaronno Mixing Stars 2016 Book
I will personally make all 155 cocktails submitted to this final stage and serve them to the directors of Disaronno at my bar in London. Together, we will choose the 45 cocktails to feature in this special book along with the Mixing Stars that created them.
Finally, one bartender per country will be invited to a special event in October to personally present their cocktail to a wider audience.
The nine countries taking part and their Disaronno Ambassador(s)
• Australia – Matteo Fabbris
• Germany – Emanuele Ingusci
• Greece – George Bagos
• Italy – Alessandro Avilla
• Netherlands – Andrew Nicholls
• Spain – Iván Herrera Cabanillas
• Sweden – Jonas Cofield
• UK – Rod Eslamieh
• USA (Director Brand Ambassadors U.S.) – Paul Sevigny
• USA (West Coast Brand Ambassador) – Alex Room
• USA (Southcentral Brand Ambassador) – Lauren Ritchie
• USA (Midwest Brand Ambassador) – Michelle Overall
• USA (Southeast Brand Ambassador) – Matthew Hirschenbein
Mixing Star 2016 is open for applications from May 8th to May 22nd. Enter now at www.themixingstar.com!