Photos by Nils Krüger (Berlin), William Dodoo (Frankfurt) and Max La Rocca

11/12/13 – 25/26 February 2013

Here we are with new World Class Training stories for the 2nd Burst of the Competition, this time we have been in the following Cities:

Kufstein (Austria) , StuggartFrankfurtBerlin and Hamburg

In every sessions, we started with an exciting visits to the different Craftsmen, a great source of inspiration for all the participants to get ideas that could be adapted to their day-by-day job behind the Bar.


(Riedel Glass Manufactory in Kufstein )

(Presentation of the craftsmanship behind the creation of a Martini Trolley in Stuggart and Frankfurt)

(Presentation of the craftsmanship behind custom shoe-making in Berlin)

(Presentation of the craftsmanship behind Design in Hamburg)

Then, followed by a great opening by Patrick Tessendorf from Haeberlein & Mauerer Agency (who supported us brilliantly throughout the Road Trip!!) introducing the agenda of the event, and myself as the speaker/Mixologist/Judge of the whole Road trip.

I started going through the reasons why we choose “The Art of the Craft” topic explaining the relation between the incredible work of the Craftsman and our profession, the things we share and have in common, that as you can immagine are endlesss.

Then an introduction to RETRO CHIC and the different features why this is the main Trend behind World Class 2013

followed by a reminder of the past 3 challenges of the 1st Burst:

-Hollywood Cocktails

– Bartender/Barchef

– Where Flavour is King


After that, I started with the next 3 challenges for the 2nd Burst:

1)Vintage with a Contemporary Twist

After talking about the “Queen” of this Challlenge being Ketel One Vodka, the perfect example of Modern Craft (that’s where the name of our Road Trip came from), I went through the importance of a drinking Ritual and how to apply to our Bar and to the Competition, followed by a Fantastic “Dali’s Moustache Punch” using the beautiful new “Copper Kettles” it’s matching glasses and to bring some emotions, elements and ingredients from my latest experience as a Bartender in Spanish Land.

now let’s rub the magic lamp and…make three wishes

2)City Glamour

Now the objective has been to inspire the Bartenders through the glamour and sophisitcation of their own City/Country and combine them to the modern luxury by using Don Julio Tequila and Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge.

To put this into practice I prepared for our Bartenders a drink called “Where is the Turkey?? to showacse the citrusy, peppery notes of Don Julio Blanco that with its grassy finish combined perfectly with an herb like rosemary and a little funny story behind it, to explain the importance of always having a story for our customers and our judges in the competition.

Then I showed some visual examples on how to use Grand Marnier to get resonance to the related challenge.

3)Whisky is

I love this challenge and I could see how the Bartenders were also excited about using Single Malts into Mixology, no more just “Neat or over Ice,Sir?” but an intriguing product that is becoming more and more used in cocktails by contemporary Bartenders due to it’s amazing characteristics.

We went back to the practice of distillation, formerly used for medicinal purposes and so I created a “Doctor’s Nightcap” using the unique flavours of Talisker 10 yo, mentioning the “Ritual of a Nightcap”, the distilling of Aqua Vitae, saying Gaelic proverbs and playing “Amélie” Movie Theme as nightcap song from an old Carillon…really Magic!!

After Patrick went through the Terms Regulations and Deadlines to apply for World Class in Austria/Germany, I started my “World Class Experience Presentation” where I took the partecipants through a fantastic journey “behind the scenes” of my personal experience  as a Bartender in the Competition and talking about the stages I went through, to get to the Global Final.

Then we had a genuine interaction with the attendants to spot who already was making their own liquor infusion, Barrel Aged Libations, Home-made Bitters, tinctures and liqueurs…it was the right time for a big surprise for our beloved Bartenders!!

“SHOW YOUR SPIRIT” a fantastic program never organized by a liquor company, that would give them a once-in-a-lifetime chance to co-create a Spirit or Liqueur that could be listed in the Best Bars in Western Europe, people was so excited and I could see their eyes already rolling searching for ideas/inspiration, this is the right approach!!

Following last year approach suggested to me by the German Team, we decided to interact with the Bartenders organizing a Market challenge “with a  friendly approach” and no pressure, just to see how they would react to the information they gathered thrughout  the day, how creative and inspired they were, and judging them in order to provide an important feedback on their performances that could further enrich their learning experience and go back to work with a new attitude and approach towards the craft.

Challenge in Kufstein



Our guys in Berlin putting into practice the little Tips and Tricks in my presentation on “Dealing with the Judges

..and in Hamburg for the first time ever, I saw muddling French Fries and come up with a very unexpected Ketel One drink…to take away..

It was an intense Road Trip as you could see from the schedule, but I’m 100% sure that the interest we generated about all this amazing activities and the motivation was huge, listening to the feedback of all the attendants in the different cities.

But the most important motivation was the FUN we had together while doing serious things and the fact that at the end of every event we asked every contestant the “1 KEY THING” they would take away from the Workshop and REALLY apply to every day-to-day behind the bar.























Thanks for giving me this amazing chance!


Celebrate life every day, everywhere

Max La Rocca