Tequila, for me, has always been consumed as a quick and dirty shot when I’m already too drunk to know any better.
So, I thought, what better way to displace that idea as tequila as a drink of last-resorts than to head to a tequila competition and see what some cocktail masters were doing with the product.
The el Jimador Bartender Cup brought together 15 top mixologists from across Europe to a super cool warehouse under London Bridge to find the best new shot, long drink and cocktail. I was there to sip and sup some down.
As the boy was otherwise engaged I was this time joined by my chatty and cheerful friend Lucy who can talk a storm and who definitely can handle her drink.
Sliding up to the bar upon arrival, we immediately got into the spirit by grabbing a tequila cocktail – a refreshing, sparkling tequila and lemon concoction. So far, so good.
This was followed by an elderflower version and then a grapefruit one.
After this, things get blurry but I know there was lots of shouting and clapping, along with debates about how easily we could tell which country each bartender was from just by looking at their appearance rather than their country name tag. France and Turkey were the easiest for me. There was also, most certainly, a very loud Brazilian band which played out tunes on garbage bin lids.
Finally, over a small shot of aged tequila (and can I just say here, the aged el Jimador is like a really nice bourbon, which shocked me to no end) the winners were announced. Mr France came in as overall winner while Poland, Greece and Russia acted as the tripartite of winners for each individual category. Ah, finally, something Greece can be proud of…
I remember little of the rest of the night – though I believe Lucy did decide to confiscate all the undrunk competitors’ cocktails which were lined up at the back of the room and ensure we did our damndest to drink them down before a cater waiter could swoop them away.
What I can say though is that, yes, tequila does make you a bit drunk, BUT its flavours are worth so much more than just a dirty shot at the bar. And I hope you’ll join me in a Gwilty cheers to this drink, by having a go at making the winning long drink, the recipe of which, I’ve put below!
Winning long drink: Pasion por Mexico
· 40 ml el Jimador Blanco
· 10 ml Passoa
· 20 ml Mus Passion Fruit
· 20 ml passion fruit syrup
· 30 ml pineapple juice
· 3 parts lime
Methodology: Pour all ingredients into a glass (hurricane) filled with crushed ice, then mix with the bartender tablespoons.
Created by Krzysztof Jadach, Diva Bar, Poland