Bombay Sapphire Crowns World’s Most Imaginative Bartender

Raj Nagra and the finalists for Bombay Sapphir Worlds Most Imaginative B...Hot off the press comes the news that Matteo Vanzi of Italy is the winner of the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition at the global final in Tuscany, Italy.

Matteo competed against professional bartenders from around the world for the accolade and a prestigious prize for meeting the challenge to create a cocktail inspired by Tuscany, the home of the juniper berries, which lies at the heart of Bombay Sapphire gin.

His cocktail called The Pastorini (Perfect Lady) was a twist on the classic White Lady, using a recipe of Bombay Sapphire gin, a homemade shrub of a light jasmine green tea and pink grapefruit peel infusion and a juniper berry meringue.

The bartenders took part in a four-day event, in and around the historical city of Florence where they experienced the energy of local markets, the enticing smells of Tuscany’s famous foods and the cultural sights and sounds of the region, where the juniper berries used in Bombay Sapphire gin are sourced.

Matteo was chosen from 11 finalists from Europe, North America, South Africa and Asia. Each bartender created a cocktail using Bombay Sapphire gin which was then judged by a panel of industry experts, including the winner of the inaugural Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (2012), Canada’s David Wolowidnyk, local Florentine Negroni expert, Luca Picchi and Hamish Smith, Deputy Editor of Drinks International.

Hosted at Il Salviatino, a 15th-century villa high in the hills over Florence, Raj Nagra Bombay Sapphire Global Brand Ambassador who compered the competition commented, “By working with the most creative talent from behind the bar, the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition not only challenges these bartenders, but it also aims to support them on their journey to becoming the most imaginative bartenders in the world.”

In addition to being crowned the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender 2013 Matteo Vanzi received the competition’s coveted trophy, has been invited to be judge at next year’s competition and will also become latest addition to the Bombay Sapphire Cocktail Hall of Fame – partaking in various duties, including attending the opening of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England, later this year. He will also have a unique opportunity to work with Virgin Atlantic to create their new signature cocktail, which will feature as part of the airline’s Clubhouse2 menu, giving consumers worldwide a taste of their imagination.

Matteo Vanzi commented on winning the competition, “I had many experiences throughout the trip that sparked by imagination, however it was the passion and love shown by the Pastorini family who harvest the juniper berries, one of the Bombay Sapphirebotanicals, that gave me the inspiration for my cocktail and the theme of love. Tuscany is a very romantic region that combines the passion of Italian people like the Pastorinis with history and style. The essence of these things helped me to create my winning cocktail. It is truly an honour to be named the 2013 Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender.”

Bombay Sapphire gin has long supported creativity and innovation and the World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition is one of the most recent incarnations of the brand’s deep rooted heritage in imagination. Bombay Sapphire Global Category Director, John Burke said: “As a brand, we believe imagination makes the world a better place and are especially proud to champion the important role it plays in the creation of truly imaginative cocktail making. As each of the finalists has learned over the course of the event, imagination is core to the Bombay Sapphire gin brand, from the care taken in sourcing each of our exotic botanicals to the unique vapour infusion distillation process and our iconic blue bottle. Our aim is to spark the imaginations of not just these finalists, but bartenders and gin-lovers worldwide.”

Experience the journey of the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender by visiting

The Pastorini (Perfect Lady) – Matteo Vanzi’s Winning Cocktail Recipe 

Overall recipe ingredients

  • 50ml Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 10ml St Germain infused jasmine green tea and pink grapefruit peel
  • 15ml Martini Bianco
  • 20ml White Balsamic Vinegar with verbena and camomile
  • Homemade shrub
  • 1tsp juniper berry meringue



  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  • Shake, fine strain and serve in metal picnic mugs


Homemade Shrub

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar

Method for homemade shrub

  • Heat vinegar and allow sugar to dissolve and then filter


  • 375ml St Germain
  • 3 tbs Jasmine green tea
  • Peel of one Pink grapefruit

To make the infusion

  • In a Vienna coffee machine lightly infuse the green tea and pink grapefruit peel with the St Germain

Juniper Berry Meringue

  • 125g egg white
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 5 whole fine gounded juniper berries

Method for meringue

  • Whisk to meringue

The finalists for the 2013 Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition were:

  • Austria: Markus Altrichter, Hammond Bar, Vienna
  • Canada: Franz Swinton, Cube Tasting Lounge, Calagry
  • Demark: Niklas Frank, The Union, Copenhagen
  • Germany: Mathias Noori, Roomers Bar, Frankfurt
  • Italy: Matteo Vanzi, Stravinskji Bar hotel de Russie, Rome
  • Japan: Mai Seike, Cellar Bar, Rihga Royal Hotel, Tokyo
  • South Africa: Assaf Yechiel, Orphanage cocktail bar, Cape Town
  • Spain: Joao Eusebio, Magatzem Escola Borne, Barcelona
  • Switzerland: Nico Colic, Hotel Rivington & Sons, Zurich
  • UK: Joe Wild, Berry & Rye, Liverpool
  • USA: Rustyn Vaughan-Lee, The Sporting League, Las Vegas

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