Bartenders Go Loco At Coco Lopez And El Dorado Cocktail Challenge

Mark Main's winning Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Mark Main of MOJO in Manchester has been named the overall winner in this year’s Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge. The Glaswegian mixologist took home £1,000 and after his El Coco Bru and Peanut Butter Jelly Time cocktails impressed the judges.

The hard-fought contest, compered by Lyndon Higginson at The Liar’s Club in Manchester and organised by Coco Lopez’s UK distributor Bennett Opie and El Dorado Rum in association with Hamilton Beach, also saw runner-up Ami St. Claire of Sohe in Newcastle win a bottle of 21 year-old El Dorado rum. Colette Abel of Be At One in Cardiff won a Hamilton Beach Fury blender for her Threena Colager, judged to be the best twisted piña colada in the competition.

Host and judge James Coston, from Bennett Opie, said: “Mark brought his A-game on the day; the Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge is judged on the humour and imagination of the presentation as well as the drinks themselves, and he had us all in stitches.

“His El Coco Bru twisted piña colada was topped with Irn Bru – and served in the can – in tribute to his Scottish heritage, and his Peanut Butter Jelly Time cocktail was actually two drinks in one, presented as a throwback to his school packed lunches complete with crisps, a chocolate bar and a tangerine!”

Sam Fish from El Dorado Rums said: “The finalists this year were all brilliant; the sheer creativity of their drinks and presentation makes this competition the most exciting and fun one to judge. The piña colada is one of the most difficult cocktails to master and we tasted some excellent ones on the day; it was great to see so many modern twists on a classic drink.”

As well as Sam Fish from El Dorado and James Coston from Bennett Opie, the judging panel also included the 2014 Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge Champion, Marco Piroli.

The ten finalists had each submitted two drinks to the competition. One had to be a twisted piña colada containing Coco Lopez and either three-year-old or five-year-old El Dorado Rum, and had to be blended with a Hamilton Beach blender. The other was a cocktail of their choice, though it had to contain at least 20ml Coco Lopez and three or five-year-old El Dorado Rum.

The winning recipes:

Mark Main’s El Coco Bru

Ingredients: 50ml El Dorado 3 year old rum, 50ml Coco Lopez, 12.5ml Monin Blue Curacao liqueur, 12.5ml lime juice, 2 pineapple chunks 

Method: Blend ingredients and top with Irn Bru, then serve in an Irn Bru can.

 

Mark Main’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter:

37.5 El Dorado 5 year old rum, 37.5ml Coco Lopez,12.5ml lime juice, 25ml half and half, 3 bar spoons of peanut butter 

Jelly:

37.5ml El Dorado 3 year old rum, 12.5ml lime juice, 3 bar spoons of strawberry jam, Pinch of salt, Splash of Opies cherry juice

Method: Blend both drinks separately and serve in a lunch box with everything your mum used to put in; i.e. 3 chocolate bars, a bag of crisps and a tangerine.

Coco Lopez is available from good stockists including www.thedrinkshop.com.  For more information, contact the Bennett Opie sales team on 01795 476154 or visit www.b-opie.com.

 

El Dorado Rums are available from good stockists including www.thedrinkshop.com.  For more information about the product, contact the Love Drinks sales team on info@lovedrinks.co.uk.

Enter The Coco Lopez And El Dorado Cocktail Challenge

A £1,000 cash prize is up for grabs for the winner of this year’s Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge, in association with Hamilton Beach , to be staged at The Liar’s Club in Manchester on Tuesday, March 18 from 3pm, on the first day of the Northern Restaurant & Bar Show.

Bartenders and mixologists should register as soon as possible for the competition, organised by Bennett Opie, which distributes Coco Lopez, a natural cream of coconut product, in the UK .

Opie’s cocktail expert James Coston said: “Competitors will need to submit two drinks. One must be a Twisted Pina Colada, the mixologist’s own twist on the classic cocktail, containing Coco Lopez and either three-year-old or five-year-old El Dorado Rum.

“The second can be a cocktail invention of their choice, though it must contain at least 20ml Coco Lopez, and again the three or five-year-old El Dorado Rum. Both drinks must be blended with a Hamilton Beach Tempest blender, which will be provided.”

James said the Coco Lopez & El Dorado Cocktail Challenge was a test of all-round skills, imagination and wit.

“Banter and performance will score highly and ingredients, measurements, garnish and vessel are all determined by the bartender and can be as outrageous as you like,” he said. “The use of Bennett Opie cocktail cherries for garnish is highly recommended.”

Entrants should email James with their recipes. Judges will pick their 10 favourites and their creators will be invited to demonstrate them in the final.

“The best cocktail in the top 10 wins its creator the £1,000 prize and a bottle of 21-year-old El Dorado Rum,” said James. “The creator of the best Pina Colada wins a Hamilton Beach Tempest blender.”

Entrants should email James Coston at jcoston@b-opie.com with their recipes by midnight on Saturday, March 1 with the following information:

Name of competitor
Name and location of the bar where you work
Email address
Contact phone number
Ingredients in ml
Vessel
Garnish
Method (of second drink)
Cocktail names

The top 10 entrants will be contacted by email at noon on Saturday, March 8 and invited to the March 18 final.

For further information visit the Coco Lopez Cocktail Challenge Facebook page.

Coco Lopez is available from good stockists including http://www.thedrinkshop.com. For more information about the product, contact the Bennett Opie sales team on 01795 476154 or visit http://www.b-opie.com.