Bartenders announced for Tequila Casco Viejo competition final

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Four bartenders have won places in the final of a cocktail competition for Tequila Casco Viejo, with the prize of a VIP trip to Mexico.

After regional heats, the finalists are Tim Ward of Alvino’s in Newcastle upon Tyne representing northern England, Alexander Taylor of 10 Feet Tall in Cardiff for southern England and Wales, Steve Lawson of Mash London representing London, and Ciaran Russell of The Tippling House in Aberdeen for Scotland.

They were chosen blind, without the name of the bartender or venue, by a team of judges including Eduardo Gomez, founder of the UK Tequila & Mezcal Fest, tequila and mezcal blogger Adrian Ceballos, and Jack Rackham, commercial director of Emporia Brands, Casco Viejo’s UK distributor.

The final will be held at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show in Manchester on Wednesday March 16 at 3.15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland, aka Drinks Enthusiast, and Emporia Brands.

Each competitor will be asked to re-create their drink for a panel judges who will include Chris Grimes of food and drink magazine Bitten.

Bartenders were challenged to create a unique drink containing at least 35ml of either Tequila Casco Viejo Blanco or Reposado, taking influence from the famous Camarena Brothers, the producers of the brand, as well as the history and heritage of Mexico itself.

The prize is a trip to Arandas as the guest of Casco Viejo, incorporating the history and heritage of the Camarena Brothers, who have the third-biggest agave plantation in Mexico, as well as plenty of opportunities to find out why Arandas is the area for outstanding tequila production.

Northern Restaurant & Bar takes place at Manchester Central on March 15 and 16. The show features the Spirit Room, the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London, and the Drinks Live theatre, featuring a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business.

Tickets are free to anyone working in the hospitality industry. Register at www.northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets.

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