AMARO MONTENEGRO ANNOUNCES ITALY’S VERO BARTENDER AWARD Gianfranco Sciacca from Bagheria in Sicily will take his cocktail Virtudi to the Bar Convent Berlin exhibition. Massimiliano Dessi from Montevarchi Valdarno is awarded the Special Critics’ Prize.


Bologna, 27 September 2017 – Amaro Montenegro chose the magnificent setting of Palazzo Re Enzo in Bologna for today’s announcement of the winner of the 2017 edition of the contest Be The Vero Bartender – The Talent.
Gianfranco Sciacca, 30 years of age from Bagheria (Palermo)
, scooped the title of Vero Bartender 2017.

Over the course of the day, a series of challenges saw Gianfranco Sciacca do battle with another five of Italy’s top bartenders, who earned their place in the final after passing an intense selection process and two semifinals in Milan and Rome.

The 2017 winner of the talent contest was decided by a judging panel comprised of some of the sector’s leading lights: Matteo Bonoli, Master Herbalist at Amaro Montenegro, Giuseppe Gallo, a leading expert in the arena of international mixology, Stefano Nincevich, journalist and “expert on everything in the bar sphere” and Sother Teague, mixologist and President of USBG of New York.

The first test, the “Vero Test”, gauged the bartenders’ knowledge of the history, production process of Amaro Montenegro and the ingredients of great classics of mixology. Next, contestants faced the “Vero Box” test, which challenged them to make a creative cocktail with Amaro Montenegro in a limited time, using only the ingredients available in the “mystery box”.

The decider for impressing the judges was the day’s final and most challenging test, requiring the contestants to make their own “Twist On Classic”, and here they prepared the cocktail that earned them a place in the final. They were judged on the creativity of the recipe, their ability to explain it and their personality behind the bar.

Gianfranco Sciacca took top honours with his “Virtudi” cocktail and will thus have a spot in the limelight at one of the most important events on the global mixology calendar, the Bar Convent Berlin 2017 exhibition, where he will have the chance to present his creation in the Amaro Montenegro space.

30-year-old Massimiliano Dessi from Montevarchi Valdarno, who entered the contest with his “Principe di Montenevoso”, was awarded the Special Critics’ Prize.

“We are proud of the strong participation in our talent contest Be The Vero Bartender, which consolidates the ongoing brand modernisation and development project”, stated Alessandro Soleschi, Spirits Marketing Manager at Montenegro Group. “We want to share the quality and heritage of Amaro Montenegro behind the bar too, with young bartenders like those we have seen at work today, who are passionate about their profession and always eager to innovate”.


The year is 1885 and, after long and fervent experimentation, Bologna-born herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi finally invents one of the most iconic Italian liqueurs of all time, Amaro Montenegro.

A legendary product that for over 130 years has offered the same unique taste and quality that make Amaro Montenegro Italy’s number one amaro. This unchanging tradition is reflected in the bottle too, with its iconic shape; a bottle that has always set Amaro Montenegro apart, jealously protecting its character, as well as its taste. Indeed, Amaro Montenegro is still made today to the same traditional recipe, with its intriguing blend of 40 botanicals including herbs, spices and citrus fruits; a formula and process which have been kept secret for over a century, and which give Amaro Montenegro its unmistakable taste and extraordinary complexity.

Thanks to this unique organoleptic profile, Amaro Montenegro is a surprising and versatile ingredient for innovative cocktails or twists on great classics that are already hugely popular in the world of mixology both in Italy and abroad.

Amaro Montenegro, real taste.

Info for the press

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