A challenge to create the tastiest and most inventive chilli cocktail has been won by bartender Sushant Mane (pictured) of the Connaught Bar in London.
He triumphed over five of the UK’s best bartenders with his Chica Brava cocktail which mixed Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado tequila, tomato juice, fresh lemon juice and spice mix, garnished with celery.
The competition, open to bartenders across the UK, was the Jose Cuervo Lucha Libre Bar Tender Battles, held as part of fiery street food festival Chilli Chilli Bang Bang in London. The prize was a year’s supply of Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado.
The other taking part were Jess Ayres from Sidewinder in Brighton and four other bartenders from London: Frederico Gisbert of Hawksmoor Guildhall, Lee Hyde from Oskar’s Bar, Flavio Wijesinghe from Soho House, and Michael Kyprinou from Aqua Restaurant & Bar.
Contestants had to create two new chilli tequila cocktails each, mixing the drinks over two rounds. Lee Hyde invented a Day Of The Dead cocktail containing fresh lime juice, Aperol, crème de cacao blanc, chopped red chilli and egg white while Michael Kyprianou’s Sweet & Spice comprised chilli syrup, mango syrup, cranberry juice and chilli.
It was judged by Jose Cuervo brand ambassador Gabriela Moncada (pictured) and Emilie Campesato-Mouragne of drinks supplier Amathus Drinks. The event was given a wrestling match atmosphere thanks to the Tonteria Tequila girls with score boards and tattooed body suits.
In the final, Sushant’s Chica Brava faced competition from Lee’s Chilli Chiller cocktail, a combination of Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado, strawberry, passion fruit, St Mungo lager, lime juice, spicy mango syrup, Tabasco, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and cinnamon.
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