Team U.S.A.'s run at the 42Below Cocktail World Cup ended with a second place showing Sunday, netting a final score that was a mere half-percentage point shy of the winning Italian team.
San Francisco bartender Michael Callahan (Azul Bar), Nate Wales from La Condesa in Austin, Tex., and Jennifer Contraveos from the Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. represented the United States against teams from New Zealand, Australia, France, and third-place winner Scotland. Even with a win in the punch challenge for its 42Below the Mason-Dixie Line, the U.S. team got a taste of that famous Italian boot.
Italy's photo-finish win seemed to stun the other contestants. Despite an elaborate wardrobe with numerous costume changes, the Italian team scored consistently at the bottom until its Elisir d'Amore (Love Potion) catapulted them to victory.
Team Italy's Elisir d'Amore
45 ml pineapple and black pepper-infused 42Below vodka
5 ml lavender-infused 42Below vodka
20 ml limoncello
15 ml orange, lemon, and ginger syrup
5 ml Chambord
50 ml fresh pineapple juice
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Shake with ice. Strain into a bottle; serves two.
Team U.S.A.'s 42Below the Mason-Dixie Line
18 ozs 42Below vodka
4 ozs vanilla bean-infused 42Below Honey
4 ozs Benedictine
9 ozs lemon
4 ozs apple cider (hand pressed)
13 ozs pineapple juice
4 ozs brown sugar oleo-saccharum
4 ozs black and rooibos sun tea
4 ozs cinnamon, clove, and horopito fig syrup
300 mls water
Mix and serve in chip-smoked applewood cups.