The inaugural Carpano Antica Formula Video Awards, an award show featuring Fernet Branca and Carpano Antica-highlighted videos by bartenders, were last night. With six categories and 37 videos to cover in two hours, the show was a bit of a booze-infused but PG-13 whirlwind in spite of emcee Dan “The Imbiber” Dunn manning the helm. (Presenters were told beforehand to avoid using “fowl[sp] language” in their banter while contestants were told to keep their videos “21+.”)
Fortunately the largely bartender-populated crowd behaved themselves which was surprising considering the hosted bars. Only one drunken couple didn’t seem to get the memo, opting to have sex in the unisex bathroom and later by the stage (unless those were two separate couples, ick).
The Fratelli-Branca/Infinium Spirits-hosted show was a chance for local bartenders (LA and San Diego) to show off their creative skills behind and in front of the camera. Some videos were straight cocktail how-tos while others were music videos and film shorts; all executed with varying degrees of skill. Most were impressive and fun, though.
The uber-packed event, which took place at the Dim Mak Studios in Hollywood, kicked off with cocktail hour in the front room featuring cocktails like the Hanky Panky, an Americano Royale (Campari, Carpano and champagne) and Carpano on the rocks. The Hanky Panky with gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet was my fave when it was served up. The event bartenders had been told to serve it on the rocks because “it was too strong.” Say what? I’d say the popular drink of the night though was shots of Fernet, of course.
The night was a full-on industry affair with mixmasters extraordinaire/bartenders Dave Fernie and Steve Livigni manning the digital turntables and doing the music cues for the show while the award presenters was a combination of booze bloggers (me and Daniel Djang of Thirsty in LA), bartenders and cocktail personalities. Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello strutted on stage at the end of the night with a “You’re welcome, Los Angeles” and then proceeded to poke fun at host Dan Dunn as well as present the final award for The Best video.
Daniel and I don’t nearly have the same amount of public speaking experience or commanding presence as those guys but I think we did pretty well for ourselves. Our schtick played up the whole blogger need to document everything on social media. Seeing as how I’m deathly afraid of public speaking, those two or three minutes Daniel and I were up on stage to present the first award for “Best Use of Carpano in a Cocktail” was some of the most terrifying. Fortunately Daniel wrote our script so he did most of the talking while I checked in to Foursquare and took pictures of the cocktails and crowd. THAT I can do. Apparently it went over well but I couldn’t tell from the podium. Was too much in shock, you see.
In any case here’s the best of the best from last night. Congrats to all. The grand prize winner scored a sweet Fernet Branca bicycle:
Best Use of Carpano Antica in a Cocktail: Nate Howell — Cocktail: State of Grace
Best Pour: Joey Malone / David Kaplan — FERNET
Best Foreign Film: Matty Gordon — Golden Rye
Best Look: Justin Fix — Blind Barber
Best Use of Effects: Alexander Liberman & Justin Lapriore — The Third Thursday
“Il Meglio” The Best: LEE3 Productions — LAybacks