Cocktail makers take plunge
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
The 42 Below Cocktail World Cup leapt into action yesterday, with competitors and judges being thrown off New Zealand's highest bungy jump.
While most of the world's best cocktail makers and their panel of elite international judges had arrived in Queenstown in the previous days, some stragglers who had just touched down at the resort's airport joined the large group, who were promptly taken to the AJ Hackett Nevis Valley jump site to face the 134-metre jump.
English judge Tony Conigiliaro said the challenge was faced with "a bit of Dutch courage" - which was all par for the course in a cocktail making challenge.
"I've been in Queenstown for a few days now, but for those new arrivals trying to shake off their jetlag, I'm sure the bungy jump probably hit the spot," he said.
Competitors and judges have come from across the globe to gather in Queenstown for preliminary rounds of the competition, and on Friday will travel to Auckland for the finals.
Competitors will face a top secret series of challenges, activities and "experimentation" concerning all things cocktail orientated while in Queenstown.
"In the spirit of secrecy and terrifying the pants off our bartenders, there will be no information released about the various challenges, activities and experimentation they will undergo," a 42 Below spokeswoman said.
42 Below is widely regarded as a Kiwi business success story. The company was started in 1998 by Wellingtonian Geoff Ross who began by distilling vodka in a garage. However the inventive marketing push Mr Ross, a former head of client service at Saatchi & Saatchi, put into the brand resulted in a sales boom, a worldwide profile and the eventual sale of the brand to international drinks giant The Bacardi Group for $30 million in 2006.
42 Below's world cocktail cup has been held either fully or partially in Queenstown since 2005. Continuing the ingenious marketing approach, 42 Below has brought Playboy bunnies, Sopranos TV star Jamie-Lynn Sigler and hundreds of world-class bartenders to the resort to push the boundaries of cocktail making.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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