Bartenders win a month in Colombia with La Hechicera

Alex Lawrence Lady ColombiaTwo bartenders are off to spend a month living and working in Colombia after winning a competition for La Hechicera Rum.

Alex Lawrence from Orchid bar in Aberdeen and Walter Pintus from The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz in London beat 13 other finalists at the Wanderlust Colombia cocktail challenge in London.

Alex’s cocktail was Lady Colombia (pictured top) and Walter’s was The Rum Baroness (pictured below). See below for recipes.

They will spend a month in the Colombian capital of Bogota and also travel to the Caribbean city of Cartagena which is south-west of Barranquilla where La Hechicera is produced.

They will be immersed in the bar life of the cities, with accommodation and salary paid for the whole month. The visit will also include blending their own rum with La Hechicera’s maestro ronero, or master blender.

The final took place with at MASH in London, with a panel of judges including Miguel Riascos, one of the founders of La Hechichera.

He said: “We were very excited to host such a range of finalists, from popular bars through to five-star hotel bars. All showed inspired and creative originality, and many were keen to challenge convention.

“Our judging panel was treated with unexpected flavour combinations, adventurous mixing with exotic rare fresh ingredients and the results of refined techniques such as dry-smoking. At the end of the day, the winning cocktails were judged on taste.”

The other bartenders to win a place in the final were Ben Manchester of Hotel du Vin in Brighton, Dalia Karuzaite of Floridita in London, Damiano Madeddu of Rivoli Bar, Jamie Stevenson of The Blackbird in Edinburgh, Malgorzata Szwadzka of 5 Hertford Street in London, Matteo Corsalini of China Tang at The Dorchester in London, Neil Donachie of Popolo in Newcastle upon Tyne, Paulo Guasco of Blue Boar Bar in London, Thomas Muller of Blue Boar Bar, Rafal Tetich of Merkaba in Brighton, Sian Ferguson of 99 Bar and Kitchen in Aberdeen, and Vincenzo Pagliara of Montgomery Place in London.

Lady Colombia by Alex Lawrence

60ml La Hechicera Rum
20ml Martini Extra Dry
5 ml Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur
5 ml maple syrup
2 dashes house blend bitter
1 pinch of sea salt

Stir over ice and strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon zest.

The Rum Baroness by Walter Pintus

50ml La Hechicera Rum
20ml Tintilla De Rota fortified wine
10ml Maple syrup blended with Tahitian vanilla beans and Egyptian chamomile blossoms, house-made cocoa bitters
3 drops of cocoa oil

Stir over ice and strain into a large stemless wine glass. Garnish with fresh caviar lime and serve with chocolate truffles.

Walter Pintus Rum Baroness
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