Orlando Marzo Wins Silver | Diplomático Rum World Tournament

For the past 7 days Orlando Marzo, Head Bartender at Eau de Vie Melbourne, has been in Venezuela representing Australia at the Diplomático World Tournament. Competing against representatives from 27 other countries around the World, Orlando made it through three stages to take out 2nd place.

Just days before Orlando left for Venezuela, he met with me to chat about the competition and make his signature cocktail creation, the Trader Exclusive Swizzle, which won the national final in March and secured Orlando’s place in the world championship.

The Diplomático World Tournament is one of the World’s most prestigious cocktail competitions. Held every second year, it attracts hundreds of bartenders from around the globe and aims to inspire the next wave of cocktails.

The competition also provides bartenders with the rare opportunity to attend a masterclass at Diplomático Distillery with Master Blender Tito Codeo and meet the legendary Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador who hosts the event.

The rigorous tournament consists of three knockout rounds and takes place at the Jiahara Hotel in Venezuela. The first heat sees 28 competitors recreate the cocktail that won their national final, plus sit a theory test on their knowledge of the Diplomático Rum distillery. The 14 semi-finalists that make it through to the next round prepare a sophisticated cocktail that could be found on the menu of a luxurious hotel using local Venezuelan ingredients, plus do a blind tasting to test their ability to recognise Diplomático Rums. Finally, just 8 grand finalists create a true classic Diplomático cocktail using universal ingredients.

Competitors are judged on ‘Bartender’s Technique & Presentation, Cocktail’s Look & Decoration, and Organoleptic Subjects’ by a prestigious judging panel of industry elite. Names such as Carina Soto Valesquez Tsou from Candalaria in Paris, Sasha Petraske from Milk & Honey in NYC & London, Stefan Gabanyi from Gabanyi Bar in Munich, and Melbourne’s own Nathan Beasley from Black Pearl have the difficult job of selecting the winner.

Word is that it was a fierce showdown between grand finalists from Australia, NZ, China, Singapore, Spain, Canada, Mexico and Columbia vying for the Grand Champion title and cash prized of U.S.$10,000 for 1st place, U.S.$5,000 for 2nd place, and U.S.$2,500.00 for 3rd place.

The competition set incredibly high standards and Orlando secured 2nd place.

The Italian born bartender is a true cosmopolitan gentleman. Living in Melbourne for just 1 year and 4 months, Orlando moved here after 4 years in London, hoping for a similar cultural experience and has since fallen in love with our amazing city – its art, its culture and its hospitality.

Orlando was born in a small town in Italy called Castiglione D’otranto and grew-up in Milan. After attending hospitality school in Apula Italy, Orlando became a citizen of the world, exploring new places to take his career to the next level. His adventures began in Rimini and soon moved on to Modena, the city of food and fast cars, before taking him to London where he worked at renowned bars The Player and Milk & Honey.

Since arriving in Australia Orlando has been at Eau de Vie, one of Melbourne’s most exciting hidden bars. Known for its incredible cocktails, theatrical presentation and smooth service, Eau de Vie has been causing a stir since it opened. So as the Head Bartender you’d expect that Orlando holds himself to high standards.

Chatting about the competition, Orlando was excited at the opportunity to travel to Venezuela and looking forward to touring the distillery where his favourite brand of rum is made.

Congratulations Orlando on this outstanding achievement.

Trader Exclusive Swizzle

  • 50 ml Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
  • 10 ml Penfold’s tawny port infused with coffee beans
  • 60 ml Tepache
  • 15 ml fresh lime juice
  • 5 ml toasted pistachio syrup
  • 3 dashes Mr Bitters fig & cinnamon bitters

Orlando pouring Orlando squeezing Orlando swizzling portrait

orlando presenting swizzle cocktail 2 Swizzle cocktail


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