Category Archives: News

Riddles Emporium Opens First Shop in Altrincham

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A new specialist spirit shop, from the owners of Riddles cocktail bar on Greenwood Street and spirit specialist Dave Marsland, owner of Drinks Enthusiast, is set to open its doors on 1st April 2017.

Riddles Emporium, with the tagline ‘Liquor and Sundries’, will sell a wide range of spirits, high-end products, cocktail equipment, books, bitters, homemade tinctures and syrups – pretty much everything you’ll need to make fine quality drinks at home. The shop will be the first of its kind in Altrincham and will also host regular small tasting events on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as the occasional classic cocktail masterclass.

Located at the former Ivy House site on Regent Road, Riddles Emporium hopes to contribute towards the regeneration of the Altrincham Market area, and to offer a unique retail experience for Altrincham residents. The shop will have a definite synergy with Riddles bar, adopting a similar vintage look and feel with a focus on classic cocktails and timeless flavor profiles. The new shop will house a wealth of bottles that are not widely available, perfect for special gifts, investment, or simply to vastly improve your own home bar.

“The most important thing for us is to share our passion for quality drinks, to enthuse others to be more adventurous with their choices and to introduce or take them further into the wonderful world of spirits and cocktails,” says Dave Marsland (28). “We are so excited about not only giving people the absolute best drinks in our bar but extending that into their homes too – and we know the people of Altrincham will love this. This town is definitely a knowledgeable and passionate place when it comes to fine drinking,” adds Del Lowe (33).

To accompany the launch of the shop, Riddles bar is releasing a series of cocktail instruction videos entitled ‘Making Drinks At Home’. Emma Rostaing (34) explains: “The intention behind these short videos is to inspire people to be more adventurous with drinks at their own social gatherings and to bring what we know into peoples homes. Obviously we love making drinks in the bar and nothing can beat the atmosphere of going out for a drink, but on those nights when you can’t get out or just need some peace and quiet, Riddles Emporium and these videos will give you the tools to create the perfect serve yourself.”

The shop will open to the public on Saturday 1st April and will be offering a series of five exclusive tasting events, free of charge. There will be a variety of different tastings covering the worlds of gin, rum, tequila, whisky and vodka. Only ten free tickets are available for each time-slot, so be sure to book yours as soon as possible. Tickets for these small tasting events can be obtained from Eventbrite, via a link on the Riddles Bar website: http://www.riddlesbar.com.

The website for the Emporium will launch in the next two weeks at http://www.riddlesemporium.com and products will be available to buy online.

For anyone passionate about fine drinking and drinks preparation this will be a fine addition to Altrincham’s growing independent retail offering.

Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup Launches In London And Barcelona

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American Beverage Marketers, leading specialists in the cocktail ingredient category, have worked with drinks industry expert Giuseppe Gallo to create Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup. Launching to the on-trade from mid-April, and with listings in high profile accounts, the tonic syrup allows bartenders to experiment with the fundamental flavour profile of tonic water. Under development for almost two years, and inspired by the original formula of the Dutch West India Company, Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup can be used as a base for homemade tonic waters or added to cocktails to create an elegant bitterness.

Capitalising on the worldwide trend for the Gin & Tonic, Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup has been developed in response to demand from bartenders for a cocktail ingredient that allows them to consistently make their own tonic water. After researching original tonic recipes dating back to the 1600s, Bon Vivant is made using natural quinine from cinchona bark of the highest quality, sourced from the Congo, and lemons from California and Argentina. The citrus oils provide a refreshing, crisp flavour, whilst the quinine rounds off the syrup with a bitter finish at the end. Transparent in colour with a light golden hue, it is less sweet than pre-made tonic waters, and the natural flavourings allow the flavour profile of the gin or spirit it is paired with to shine through.

Giuseppe Gallo comments, “We are very excited to be launching Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup to the on-trade, especially at a time when we have seen a trend for lower-ABV cocktails gain traction, as well as a more considered approach to alcohol-free offerings. Customers’ palates are also becoming more sophisticated with a return to classic cocktails such as the negroni and bitter aperitivo style drinks, and the gin boom doesn’t show any signs of slowing. We have designed Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup in the hope that bartenders will be able to offer a more unique, authentic tonic water option, as well as opening up new flavour profile opportunities in mixed drinks.”

In a Gin & Tonic, Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup works particularly well with London Dry gins that have a strong juniper note, however the amount can be adjusted to accommodate different botanical profiles across the gin category. It also works well with different spirits and liqueurs, with recommended serves including Amaro & Tonic, Vermouth & Tonic and Italicus & Tonic. As a cocktail ingredient it can be used in sour classics such as an Aviation or White Lady instead of sugar, and there is the opportunity for bartenders to experiment with their own infusions and serves.

On the launch, leading bartender and UKBG president Luca Cordiglieri comments, “Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup is a great addition to the market with its floral and herbal flavour, and a sweetness that is not overpowering. I find it’s great for making your own Gin and Tonic, or as a cocktail ingredient.” Noting its usefulness as a cocktail ingredient, Simone Caporale also comments, “Whereas before you might have had to use lots of different elements to create a drink, the use of Bon Vivant Tonic Syrup creates an interesting complexity using just one ingredient, opening up avenues of creativity for bartenders to explore.”

#bonvivanttonicsyrup

St Patrick’s Day Launch for The Cold Irishman Competition

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This St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2017, sees Walsh Whiskey and UK Importer Emporia Brands come together for the UK’s first ever cocktail competition involving The Irishman whiskey.

Focusing on The Irishman Founder’s Reserve expression, both companies are on the lookout for the best innovative twist on their signature serve, The Cold Irishman. With the original recipe seeing a blended combination of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, coffee, half and half and sugar syrup, the competition throws open a variety of options to impress the Walsh family of Bernard and Rosemary.

The award-winning Walsh Whiskey are offering an exclusive trip to their new distillery ‘Royal Oak’, with the chance to experience the range of expressions first hand, as well as the immersive opportunity of a VIP distillery tour located in the heart of barley-growing country, framed by two-hundred-year-old might oaks on the banks of the goodly River Barrow in Ireland’s Ancient East.

With a minimum of 35 ml of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve needed, and a maximum of 5 ingredients (including the base whiskey and excluding garnish) allowed, bartenders also need to explain their inspiration as part of their submission.

To enter, bartenders are asked to submit their details and cocktail recipe to the online registration form located at http://www.emporiabrands.com/coldirishman

Entries will be open from 17th March until 12th May, in which a blind judging will take place of all submissions by some of the top industry figures in whiskey, as well as an Emporia Brands representative visiting the venue to experience the recipe first hand, with the winner announced on 19th May, the day before World Whisky Day. The winner will win the trip to Royal Oak later in 2017 where they will re-create their winning recipe to the Walsh Family, VIP’s and journalists within the distillery itself.

#ColdIrishman

For more information on Walsh Whiskey, please visit http://walshwhiskey.com or follow on Twitter @WalshWhiskey, Facebook at /walshwhiskey and /TheIrishmanWhiskey and Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/walshwhiskey

Dictador Rebrands Its Iconic XO Bottle As A Dazzling Work Of Art

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Dictador, the award-winning Colombian rum producer, today announces the rebrand of its iconic XO Insolent and Perpetual Solera System rum bottles. The decision to rebrand comes at a time when Dictador is achieving overwhelming and unprecedented global interest as the brand continues to expand its distribution channels worldwide.

Representing another milestone in Dictador’s history, the impressively redesigned Insolent and Perpetual bottles stay true to the original Japanese design tradition, while being carried out in an elegant and modern way. Maintaining the previous bottle’s body shape, the new bottles are crystalline and luminescent, capturing the rich and vivid copper liquid that lies within. Exquisitely designed like a piece of art, the bottle has a modern design with a sleek and sexy look.

Marek Szoldrowski, President of Dictador Europe, said: “We are pleased to launch our new XO Insolent and Perpetual bottles which we feel capture the essence of our distinctive and luxuriously flavoured rums. The bold design makes a strong statement and will appeal to both new and existing clientele who are drawn to the liquid works of art we are known for. We have worked with an incredibly talented team of creatives on this project and are delighted to see it come to fruition.”

The two XO rums are the more decorated of the Dictador rum portfolio, mainly in part to the different aging system used. Dictador XO Insolent is made from first press sugar cane juice that is fermented for sixty hours and 100 per cent pot distilled. Aged in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, ex-sherry butts and charred port casks, the rum features a mixture of sweet and smoky flavours from the oak. In the glass, Insolent is a deep mahogany colour, and on the nose, has combined vanilla and honey notes with hints of white chocolate and caramel parfait. On the palette, the taste is a smooth mouthful of fudge, intense vanilla and Colombian coffee.

Dictador XO Perpetual is made from the fermentation of unique virgin sugar cane honey, distilled in an antique alembic copper still, then aged in the highest quality ex-bourbon barrels, as well as ex-sherry butts and port casks. The age-old traditional family solera system is used to carefully balance the delicate smoky and sweet flavours to create an exquisite blend that pays homage to the legacy of Dictador. On the nose, Perpetual is a combined intricately roasted honey, Colombian coffee and mature oak, rounded out by scents of vanilla. On the palette, the feel is extremely smooth with hints of spice and oak to create a long chocolate-filled finish. deep mahogany brown with golden colours and superb shine.

In addition to its highly regarded award-winning rum portfolio, the Dictador brand offers a collection of Dominican cigars and Colombian coffees and chocolates. Dictador’s premium line of mild and full-bodied cigars, whose tobacco leaves are aged in Dictador’s own barrels, are ideal accompaniments to their premium line of rums, gins and perfectly balanced Colombian coffees, thereby allowing the connoisseur to truly experience and enjoy the Dictador lifestyle.

Dictador will be attending ProWein in Dusseldorf, the World’s No. 1 International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits, from 19-21 March. Stop by Booth B86 in Hall 12 for a chat and to sample their line of awardwinning spirits.

 

Finalists Announced at Northern Restaurant & Bar Cocktail Competition with Whitley Neill Dry Gin

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Finalists announced for the Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Whitley Neill Dry Gin, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime VIP visit to South Africa.

Competitors have been asked to submit one unique drink, containing a minimum of 35 ml of any Whitley Neill Dry Gin expression, and adding inspiration of the gin’s South Africa influence.

Four finalists, chosen by a blind judging panel of gin experts including founder Johnny Neill, have been chosen, and they include;

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi’s Italianissimo, Leeds
Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh
Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London

Each finalist will be invited to the final of the competition at Northern Restaurant & Bar in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd March 2016 at 3:15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast and Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributors for Whitley Neill Dry Gin, and compared by spirit writer Joel Harrison.

The winner will visit South Africa in late 2017 as the guest of Whitley Neill Dry Gin, which has previously beaten off the challenge from the World’s finest gin brands by winning gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014. The visit will also include a 1 day safari.

Northern Restaurant & Bar is the biggest hospitality show in the North. The show’s Spirit Room is the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London. As well as the Casco Viejo cocktail competition, the Drinks Live theatre features a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business. Tickets are free to anyone actively working in the hospitality industry, register now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets

Swedish Brand Virtuous Vodka Launches To The UK On-Trade

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Virtuous Vodka, a high-quality Swedish vodka made from 100% organic, natural ingredients will launch to the UK on-trade with a portfolio of four flavours: Blond, Bitter Lemon, Raspberry and Ginger. Made using a base spirit of Swedish rye, and with no added sugars or aromas, Virtuous Vodka prides itself on only using the best ingredients and methods to produce flavours that are natural and genuine. The result is a grown-up and authentic take on the flavoured vodka category, ideal for mixing in long drinks and cocktails.

Available in 700ml bottles Virtuous Vodka is column-distilled once and unfiltered to render a smooth and well balanced flavour. The resulting Virtuous Vodka Blond has a sweet, peppery scent reminiscent of fresh baked bread and light notes of fruit. Pure and smooth on the palate, there is a fresh, sweet bitterness and touch of spice, with a short and delicate aftertaste.

To create the flavoured varieties only natural, organic ingredients are used. They are added during a maceration process before the vodka is gently filtered, the resulting flavoured vodkas stay true to the flavour profile of the original ingredients, providing a departure from synthetically flavoured spirits:

Virtuous Vodka Raspberry
Flavoured with organic raspberries A rich scent of aged raspberries leads to a striking and ripe taste, whilst a certain acidity and sweetness from the fruit balances the vodka. Matures with time to develop a more complex flavour, with less acidity.

Virtuous Vodka Bitter Lemon
Flavoured with organic lemon peel Intense aroma with a sharp and sweet fragrance, the complex taste of lemon-zest elevates the vodka. The juxtaposing flavours of sweetness from the zest and bitterness from the peel results in a modern lemon vodka reminiscent of bitter marmalade.

Virtuous Vodka Ginger
Flavoured with organic ginger A full and aromatic scent of fresh ginger is complimented by a strong and spicy flavour that carries a certain amount of heat.

Like any natural flavour, Virtuous Vodka’s flavoured varieties have an indefinite shelf life, a testament to the authenticity and realness of its ingredients and something founder Claes Stenmark sees as a strength, not a flaw. On the launch he comments, “As a company we believe in three things: true flavours, sustainable business and braveness, and that’s how we produce our vodkas. We’re excited to be launching in the UK at a time when venues and customers alike are looking for something authentic and honest, something we always strive to be. We only say yes to the real deal and no to stuff created in laboratories. Most importantly our vodka is made to taste, not to last.”

With its natural flavourings, commitment to only using organic ingredients, and fresh approach Virtuous Vodka is an exciting addition to the vodka category.

Havana Club Introduces The Second Edition In The Tributo Collection Of Prestige Rums

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Havana Club, the global leading rum in the super-premium and above category[1], has released Havana Club Tributo 2017; a new prestige sipping rum blended from the finest aged rum reserves. The second instalment of the Tributo Collection, a series of the finest rums from Havana Club’s aged reserves, was unveiled at the Cuban Habanos Festival last week and will have a limited release of 2,500 bottles globally.

Havana Club Tributo 2017 has been crafted by Asbel Morales, Havana Club Maestro del Ron Cubano, from a new blend of hand-selected base rums and a decades-old ‘aguardiente’ – or spirit base. The ‘aguardiente’ is at the heart of this rum, and has been enhanced by maturation in barrels that are over 80 years old. The result is an exceptional rum with a distinctive dry note and an intriguing array of flavours, highlighting and paying homage to the finest Cuban sugar cane. The 2017 edition is bottled at 40% ABV, with an amber glow and flavours of chocolate, tobacco and coffee.

Following the success of the 2016 edition, Havana Club Tributo 2017 demonstrates a new style of Cuban rum, showcasing the richness and variety of styles found within the authentic Cuban rum category. The new expression is on sale in six extra markets this year, totalling 16, from March at the RRP of 350 EUR per 70 cl.

This unique blend of Havana Club’s exceptional rum reserves honours the passion and knowledge of the Maestros del Ron Cubano, a role that has recently been declared a Cultural Patrimony of the Cuban nation by the Culture Ministry in Cuba. As such, each bottle of Havana Club Tributo is individually numbered and adorned with the signature of Havana Club Maestro del Ron Cubano, Asbel Morales. The outer packaging will entice rum connoisseurs and spirits drinkers alike with luxury green gold cues evoking the sugar cane lands used for generations in the production of authentic Cuban rum.

Asbel Morales comments: “The extensive reserves at the Havana Club distillery provided us with a wealth of luxurious aged rums to experiment with. By blending together a decades-old aguardiente and our precious rums, we have achieved a totally new rum experience that is lively and complex, with a remarkable dry taste imparted by the original Cuban sugar cane character of the aguardiente. Havana Club Tributo 2017 celebrates the craftsmanship at the heart of the production of premium rum, from the cane to the cask, and we hope rum drinkers around the world will enjoy it.”

Nick Blacknell, International Marketing Director at Havana Club International, adds: “We are delighted to have launched the latest edition in the Havana Club Tributo Collection and we look forward to building on the success of Tributo 2016. With only 2,500 bottles of Havana Club Tributo 2017 being released worldwide, we expect the expression to be popular among global rum and dark spirits connoisseurs who are looking for the next authentic Cuban rum to add to their repertoire.”

Home Of Jameson Re-Opens Following €11 Million Investment

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Irish Distillers, Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has announced the reopening of the home of Jameson in Smithfield, Dublin, following a total investment of €11 million. The new look ‘Jameson Distillery Bow St.’ brand home, which was officially opened by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Dublin Central TD Paschal Donohoe today, will support the Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy target of trebling the number of Irish whiskey tourists visiting Ireland annually, to 1.9 million by 2025.

As Jameson continues its phenomenal growth story, with 27 years of consecutive growth, the redeveloped Jameson brand home draws on cutting-edge technology to complement the historic surroundings of this iconic distillery and deliver an unforgettable storytelling experience. Three fully-guided tours are offered: ‘The Bow St. Experience’ tasting tour focuses on the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage and on-going innovations while ‘The Whiskey Makers’ and ‘The Whiskey Shakers’ experiences provide more in-depth whiskey and cocktail masterclasses, both including the opportunity to sample whiskey straight from a cask in the distillery’s new live maturation house.

Speaking at the opening of Jameson Distillery Bow St., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: “Each year, over 600,000 tourists pass through Irish whiskey visitor centres to experience first-hand the heritage behind this time-honoured spirit and hear the stories of established and emerging distilleries. The Irish Whiskey Tourism Strategy aims to treble this figure to 1.9 million visitors by 2025 and Jameson Distillery Bow St. will undoubtedly play a central role in delivering on this vision. Smithfield and its wider Dublin environs have a rich history and vibrant cultural scene which will also continue to attract and enthrall visitors from near and far.”

Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers said: “As the home of Jameson, Smithfield has an incredibly important place in our history. We’ve grown up on Bow Street and welcomed over 4 million whiskey lovers through our doors since the opening of the Old Jameson Distillery brand home in 1997. With this latest investment, we place storytelling at the core of the visitor experience, drawing on state of the art technology to bring the 230-year history of Bow Street to life, with a variety of tour options to cater for everyone – from those who may be discovering Jameson Irish whiskey for the very first time, to long-standing Jameson enthusiasts who are seeking to further their understanding of this much-loved spirit. The success of Irish whiskey is a success story for Ireland and we look forward to welcoming whiskey-lovers from across the globe and sharing our story with them.”

Ray Dempsey, who has been General Manager at the Jameson brand home in Smithfield since its opening in 1997, added: “We have had the privilege of calling Bow Street home since 1780 and we’re delighted with our new makeover. Visitors can look forward to immersive storytelling where they will be invited to touch, smell and most importantly, taste Jameson in the original Bow St. Distillery building. As Smithfield continues to experience a cultural resurgence, we’re incredibly excited to be part of this thriving community and look forward to being here long into the future.”

Construction work began in September and was led by BRC Imagination Arts, Dublin based firm TOTP Architects and Flynn Management & Contractors, with approximately 100 people employed as part of the redevelopment work. BRC Imagination Arts is one of the world’s leading experience design and production agencies specialising in the creation of next generation brand experiences. Founded in 1981, past clients of BRC include the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta; the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

To book tickets for the Jameson Distillery Bow St., visit http://www.jamesonwhiskey.com

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the UK

Distillers-Final-LogoThis March and April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range, after the initial success of last year’s programme.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland and the Emporia Brands team will be touring fifteen cities as they bring together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and an edition of premium expression 1931, plus a selection of the distillates from which they are blended.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery, St Lucia. Now based on the other side of the island at Roseau, the distillery has been considerably modernized and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. The installation of pot stills in 1998 added considerably to the variety of rums being produced in this highly regarded distillery which received the accolade of Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge, one of six trophies received in six years – a unique achievement.

With the premise of a flavour experience, the tour sees an approach to the range that offers bartenders and key industry figures invited to not only learn about St Lucia, but ideas on how to embrace the versatility of St Lucia Distillers, from the Spiced variety to the rare 1931.

Cities on the tour include Manchester, London, Leeds, Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with Emporia Brands looking to strengthen their campaign as they look ahead to the next instalment of the ‘Chairman’s XI’ with their ever-expanding sales team seeking out some of the UK’s best and brightest to follow in the footsteps of some of the industries key figures, including Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Danny Murphy of Aloha in Liverpool and Adam Binnersley of the MOJO Group.

Places are limited for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 and distillates for the tasting’s. To secure your place, please contact Dave Marsland at dave@emporiabrands.com, stating the session you wish to attend from the list below.

Manchester       Mojo’s, 9th March, 1:30pm

London                 Burlock, 15th March, 2pm

Leeds                    Mojo’s, 15th March, 1:30pm

Brighton              Oki Nami, 21st March, 1pm

Liverpool             Maya, 23rd March, 1:30pm

Birmingham       Island Bar, 4th April, 2pm

Nottingham       Brass Monkey, 5th April, 3pm

Leicester             The Queen of Bradgate, 6th April, 2pm

Newcastle          Alvino’s, 11th April, 1pm

Edinburgh           Reekie Tiki, 16th April, 4pm

Cardiff                  The Dead Canary, 21st April, 2pm

Aberdeen           Bos’n, 23rd April, 3pm

Dundee                 Draffens, 24th April, 4pm

Reading                               Milk, 26th April, 2pm

Glasgow              Distill, 26th April, 4pm

 

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at  www.instagram.com/chairmansreserveuk

Follow Emporia Brands on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands and Instagram at www.instagram.com/emporiabrands

Altos Tequila Launches The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017

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Altos Tequila is inviting bartenders across the world to increase their understanding of Tequila, perfect their mixology skills and gain international exposure by entering the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. Considered the world’s leading Tequila education programme, national heats are set to begin this month ahead of the global finale in Mexico in September.

Founded in 2010 by leading bartenders Dré Masso and the late Henry Besant, the Tahona Society welcomes mixologists to ‘Join the Mexican Evolution’ in its 2017 edition in response to the cultural movement in Mexico towards a renewed focus on craft, mastery and sustainability. These values are at the core of the creation of Altos Tequila and are reflected in the Tahona Society programme, as entrants must craft a cocktail that represents sustainable values, celebrates the flavour of agave and can be paired with a variety of authentic Mexican street food.

Local heats are set to take place from this month until September in a record 28 markets, such as USA (Texas, LA and NYC), London, and Paris. Designed to educate bartenders about the quality and provenance of Tequila, the importance of sustainability in bartending, and feature a comparative Tequila tasting, the heats will culminate with the national Tahona Society Cocktail Competition.

The winner from each country will be invited to Mexico for the week-long global Tahona Society Cocktail Competition in September. During the festivities, competitors will take part in a series of masterclasses – led by global bartending legends such as Dré Masso and Mexican agave spirits expert, Alberto Navarro – receive a tour of the Altos distillery and have the opportunity to explore the Los Altos region in the highlands of Mexico, where Altos Tequila is crafted using traditional production methods.

The second and third place winners will also travel to Mexico for the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the country’s ancient tradition of agave spirit production, as well as to guest bartend in one of Mexico City’s leading bars.

The final contest will be judged by a jury including Dré Masso, a worldwide famous surprise guest bartender and the Tahona Society’s 2016 winner, Kelsey Ramage; and will challenge the finalists to create their cocktails with an added local-flavour twist, sustainable values and lead a short presentation and Q&A explaining the rationale behind their serve. The overall winner of the Tahona Society 2017 is set to become the Tahona Society Global Ambassador for one year and will have the opportunity to choose four countries to deliver a Tahona Society event next year.

Dré Masso, co-creator of Altos Tequila, says: “Our mission with the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition is to spread the love and knowledge of authentic Tequila around the world. It is important that we continue to provide support and education for future bartending generations by encouraging sustainability, which is at the heart of our business and at the future of the industry. We are proud of Altos’ sustainability credentials – in fact the total waste from our distillery would fit into a car boot – and we’re hoping this will inspire our 2017 entrants. Previous winners have completely blown us away with their innovation and skill, and I cannot wait to see what this year’s competition holds!”

The 2016 Tahona Society crown was given to Kelsey Ramage from renowned London bar, Dandelyan. Ramage overcame fierce competition from 20 of the world’s most talented bartenders with her winning creation, Never Die. Chosen by the expert panel of judges for its exceptional taste and ingenious use of local ingredients.

Bartenders from around the world can follow the competition and register their interest on the Tahona Society Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TahonaSociety and are invited to contact Altos Tequila representatives in their markets for more details.