"Back to the Roots" is a mobile competition, moving from place to place every year. The first competition took place in 2016 in Milan Italy and in 2017 moved on to the UK and London at Cahoots bar. 2018 was was is time to be on the US east coast and the final taking place in NYC. During the years we have had the honour to receive entries and finalists from some of the best bars in the world, such as Oriole, the Connaught bar, the American bar at the Savoy, the Aviary, Scarfes among others and finalists were judged by personalities such as the likes of Ben Reed, Simone Caporale, Mattia Pastori etc.
The focus is always on simplicity, balance and an inspiration going back to the roots & heritage of each competitor.
The motto of the competition is:
“Truly great drinks are easy to make, you just need the elements, unique ingredients & a story to tell.”
This year the back to the Roots competition focused on low-abv long drinks or classic twists.
A recent trend is low alcohol offerings in bars and restaurants. People are becoming more conscious of over-consumption of alcohol and this is where Roots liqueurs can be useful, as they pack a lot of interesting flavours, but are lower in alcohol than brown or white spirits.
We hosted back to Back "Back to the Roots" Finals in Milan & London in just 2 days, which have been a blast ! On Monday June 10th we were in Milan at the awesome Octavius Bar at The Stage Milano and on June 11th at Novikov Restaurant & Bar in London ! The French final will take place in September.
For one more time we were honoured to host at our competition the new generation of bartenders from some of the best bars of London & Italy, and happy to see them embracing the philosophy of Roots and presented wonderful and simple long drinks & classic twists.
The two big winners:
- From Italy, Corey Squarzoni from Luca & Andrea in Milano with his long drink “Tree to Drink”, with Roots Mastic, Suze Rose Liquor Briottet & Elderflower Tonic Fever-Tree
- From the UK, Juan Jose Orellano from Beaufort Bar at the London Savoy with his long drink “Pinewood”, with Roots Mastic, Smoky Ginger ale, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice & Walnut Bitters
Both winners will visit Athens and the Athens Bar Show in November ! Congratulations to the Top 3 competitors from each country !
Leonardo Todisco - Rita & Cocktails Milano
“Augusto”: Roots Mastic, Fernet Branca, Campari and celery bitters
Alessandro Di Fabrizio - La Nuova Lavanderia - C.&C. Cocktail Bar Pescara “Mother’s Milk” Roots Mastic, lemon, tangerine & Bergamot liquor & Gentian bitters
Stefano Zuliani - MORcocktail Trieste:
“S&P”: Roots Diktamo, Roots Mastic, Ouzo, tonic water
Filip Stříbrný - Novikov Restaurant & Bar:
“Ra-Be-Ton”: Roots Rakomelo, Becherovka, Lemon juice & Tonic water
Alessandro Geraci - Chiltern Firehouse:
“Unalome”: Roots Mastic, Grapefruit Juice, dashes of Roots Diktamo, Mediterranean Tonic Water & Pepper
Jason Can - American Bar At the Savoy:
”Mama Africa”: Roots Rakomelo, Cold Brew Coffee, lime juice & tonic water
You can see the full photostories and all recipes at