The creative genius behind Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar won the 13th Annual Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. From New Orleans to Texas, and all the way north of the border in Ontario, Canada, twelve finalists made the trip to Chicago to participate in the competition.
Prior to the final round, Longo participated in a series of competitions across the United States, including in Nashville and his current home, Miami. His undeniable talent and creativity brought him to the grand finale where he participated in three challenges. Continuing to push boundaries and think outside of the box, Valentino mastered each stage of the competition, the Botanical Stage, the Canvas Challenge and of course, the Final Cocktail Challenge.
Incorporating the premium gin, Bombay Sapphire, the finalists were instructed to craft an original, new and innovative cocktail to present to the judges in under seven minutes. His final cocktail, The Decisive Moment used Bombay Sapphire Gin, fortified bergamot and sherry lactic blend, garnished with two drops of coconut olive oil and two drops of coffee balsamic.
Though dreaming up beautifully handcrafted cocktails is what he does best, to Longo, the art of bartending is a method of storytelling, a state of mind and a philosophy. Between his craftsmanship and unique view on bartending, his narrative certainly resonated with the judges. The Most Imaginative Bartender competition feeds into Bombay Sapphire’s “Stir Creativity” platform, based on the belief that creativity exists within everyone, and Valentino’s artistry is unparalleled.
“Competing with eleven of the best bartenders in the US has been not just a privilege, but a true honour,” says Longo. “We all learned how much we can give and how much we believe in ourselves but mostly, we learned that we’re true artists in what we do in and outside of the bar. Thank you to Bombay Sapphire and Tales of the Cocktail for giving us a platform to express ourselves, reaching spaces that we didn’t even know we could. Thank you for believing in this industry.“
Longo will return to Miami as a national winner and continue to share and showcase his expertise with those who visit the Surfside paradise. Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar is open Sunday through Thursday from 3:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, and Friday through Saturday from 3:00 pm to 12:30 am.
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