Home Industry News Releases Amaro Montenegro Announces 2019 U.S. Winner of ‘The Vero Bartender’ Competition

Amaro Montenegro Announces 2019 U.S. Winner of ‘The Vero Bartender’ Competition


The International Cocktail Competition to Discover the World’s Best Bartender Crowns its U.S. Winner

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JULY 20, 2019 – Yesterday, Amaro Montenegro, the award-winning Italian liqueur, hosted its much-anticipated 2019 international cocktail competition, The Vero Bartender, at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. The annual competition crowned Zachary Sapato, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the most innovative and talented bartender in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Matt Krant

Amaro Montenegro, a brand known for its spirit of exploration, once again scoured the globe to find the very best bartenders in the world to compete in its annual Vero Bartender Competition. At Tales of the Cocktail, Amaro Montenegro challenged eight U.S. finalists from around the country to create the ultimate Sharing Cocktails. Contestants included: April Tavernaro of Las Vegas, Nevada, Jason Kilgore and Leanne Favre of Brooklyn, New York, Sophia de Oliveira of Chicago, Illinois, Zachary Sapato of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Tello of Washington, D.C., and Jon Mateer of Denver, Colorado. Inspired by the history of mixology and a rising trend in the cocktail industry, the theme of Sharing Cocktails, tested these finalists to think outside-the-box and take a communal and elevated approach to cocktail creation.

Sweeping the competition, Sapato’s winning cocktail, titled Bella FIGura, featured Amaro Montenegro, Vecchia Romagna Brandy, Acidified Pomegranate Grenadine, Dashfire Mission Fig Fennel Bitters, and Carbonated Lavender Tea, creating the perfect balance of flavor and the ideal execution of a Sharing Cocktail. Sapato’s signature cocktail not only earned him a spot as the U.S. Vero Bartender champion, but it also received the People’s Choice Award as a crowd favorite.

The live competition was judged by leading cocktail aficionados: Julie Reiner, Legendary NYC Bartender and Owner of Mixtress Consulting; Francesco Lafranconi, World-Renowned Mixologist and Founder and Managing Partner of MR. CO CO in Las Vegas; Erick Castro, Bartender/Proprietor at Polite Provisions & Boilermaker and Eater Columnist; Charles Joly, Master Mixologist and Global Bartending Champion of Diageo World Class; and Matteo Bonoli, Master Herbalist for Amaro Montenegro.

In November, Sapato will receive a trip to Italy to attend Amaro Montenegro’s weeklong residency program and compete against eleven bartenders from around the world at the Vero Bartender Global Competition for the coveted title of The Vero Bartender.

To learn more about Amaro Montenegro and join the journey to find The Vero Bartender, please visit www.amaromontenegro.com and follow #MakeItWithMonte, #TheVeroBartender on Facebook, Instagram @AmaroMonte and Twitter @AmaroMonte.

Amaro Montenegro, celebrated as the world’s best liqueur*, was perfected in 1885 and features the essence of 40 botanicals from around the globe, collected during the travels of explorer and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi. The signature complex taste is characterized by a pleasing blend of sweet and bitter notes. Traditionally served as a digestif, Amaro Montenegro has since become a favorite of bartenders and mixologists for its tremendous versatility in crafting inventive cocktails and adding a flavorful twist to classic drinks. What distinguishes Amaro Montenegro from other herbaceous liqueurs is its balanced bitter-sweet flavor, smooth texture and milder proof – making it the difference in the drink. A product of Bologna Italy, Amaro Montenegro’s secret recipe remains unchanged as does the boiling, maceration and distillation process that was practiced more than 130 years ago. *Amaro Montenegro was named 2018 Best Liqueur by the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

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