Mixologist Charles Joly (pictured) from The Drawing Room in Chicago was named the overall winner for his creation, ‘Eve’s Answer’, an apple-themed twist on the Margarita. 15 bartenders from around the world took part in the competition – including representatives from London, Toronto, Cape Town, Moscow, Shanghai and Mexico City. Joly took the top prize of a week in Mexico shadowing Olmeca master distiller Jesús Hernández.
Hernández formed part of the judging panel, along with co-founder of The Tahona Society Henry Besant and internationally renowned tequila ambassadors Tomas Estes and Phillip Bayly of Café Pacifico and Julio Bermejo of Tommy's in San Francisco. The panel described Joly’s Margarita as “a well balanced cocktail that perfectly represented the qualities of Olmeca Altos”.
Justin Tisdall from Chambar in Vancouver was awarded second prize for his Marguerite while Alan Cartolano from the Hawksmoor, London, and Elina Mykhailenko from Dockers ABC in Kiev, Ukraine, came joint third for their creations ‘Compadrecita de los Altos’ and ‘My Patecatl’ respectively. Tisdall earned himself a place on The Tahona Society Mexico trip next year, while Cartolano and Mykhailenko were presented with a special bottling of Olmeca, aged for five years.
In addition to their place in the final, the contestants spent a week in Mexico learning about tequila. The final took place in Mexico.
1.5oz Olmeca Altos Reposado
½ oz spiced raisin syrup
¾ oz apple cider
¾ oz fresh lime juice
2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
Preparation: Combine Olmeca Altos Reposado, raisin syrup, cider and lime juice in mixing glass. Add ice, shake well and strain into hollowed apple. Scrape with Ceylon cinnamon and garnish with remaining stick.