Bartender competition includes search for twisted Piña Colada


coco lopez Amy St Claire pMr Pineapple Head Pina Colada

A prize of £1,000 is on offer in a competition challenging bartenders to create cocktails with Coco Lopez cream of coconut and El Dorado Rum, including a twisted Piña Colada.

The Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge returns on June 11 to The Liars Club in Manchester, with entry to the competition now open. It is run by the two brands in association with Hamilton Beach blenders.

James Coston, cocktail expert at Coco Lopez’s UK distributor Bennett Opie, said: “Competitors will need to submit two drinks. One must be a twisted Piña Colada, the mixologist’s own twist on the classic cocktail, containing Coco Lopez and either 3 Year Old or 5 Year Old El Dorado Rum. A Hamilton Beach Fury blender will be provided to help competitors achieve the perfect texture.

“The second drink can be a cocktail invention of their choice, though it must contain at least 20ml of Coco Lopez and again the 3 or 5 Year Old El Dorado Rum.”

The best original cocktail on the day wins the bartender a £1,000 cash prize and a bottle of 21-year-old El Dorado Rum. The bartender who makes the best twisted Piña Colada will win a Hamilton Beach Fury blender.

James said the Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge was a test of all-round skill, imagination and fun. “Ingredients, measurements, garnish and vessel are all determined by the bartender, although an Opie’s cocktail cherry always helps, and can be as outrageous as you like.

“Witty banter and a polished performance count as much as the cocktail itself so bring your A-game to the bar!”

Bartenders have until midnight on Monday 18 May to email James at jcoston@b-opie.com with their recipes. Each must contain the name of the competitor, the name and location of their bar, their email address and phone number, the names of the two cocktails, the ingredients in millilitres, the type of vessels used, the garnishes and the method for the original drink.

The top 10 entrants will be contacted by email at midday on Friday 22 May and invited to the June 11 final. Competitors will have 10 minutes to make and present both drinks which will be judged by the 2014 Coco Lopez Cocktail Challenge Champion Marco Piroli, Martin Shaw from Hamilton Beach distributor ‎Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM), and bartender Sam Fish from Mojo bars in Manchester and Leeds, who also works with El Dorado.

Coco Lopez is the only cream of coconut produced by hand, creating a rich, natural flavour. El Dorado 3 Year Old and 5 Year Old rums are made from 100% Demerara sugar cane on Guyana, imported by Love Drinks.

Pictured is the Pineapple Potato Head cocktail by Ami St Claire of Popolo in Newcastle upon Tyne who won the Hamilton Beach blender in the twisted Piña Colada round in last year’s competition.

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