Licor 43, the Spanish liqueur brand which celebrated its 75th birthday last year, will return to in-personal local and global finals for the sixth edition of its Bartenders & Baristas Challenge.
Entries for the annual competition designed to explore coffee cocktail creativity will open on 9th May, and the Grand Final is scheduled for Licor 43’s coffee home-from-home Gran Canaria on 19th October.
Every year, Licor 43 calls on cocktail and coffee professionals around the world to showcase their expertise and imagination in the art of pairing Licor 43 and coffee, and this sixth edition will revert to the usual in-person format once the regional finalists have been chosen.
Returning to the global judging panel is International Barista Champion Merijn Gijsbers, who has worked with the competition since 2019. Joining him for 2022 to find the best new Licor 43 coffee cocktail recipe will be American bartender and mixologist supremo Lynnette Marrero, known for creating the world’s first all-female speed bartending competition, ‘Speed Rack’, and Thalita Freire, the 2021 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge Champion from Brazil who won with her Tropicália.
Confirmed to take part this year will be nine markets around the world – UK, Estonia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, USA, Australia, Brazil and Colombia – who will set up local judging teams to find the winners to put forward to the Grand Final. The 2022 global winner will receive a bursary to put towards professional equipment and career development courses, will take their place on next year’s judging panel and will become the Licor 43 Coffee Master for 2023, appearing with the brand at key international shows.
“We are just so excited to get back to running this event in person,” says Julian Fernandez, Zamora Company’s Global Marketing & Innovation Director of Spirits. “Gran Canaria is home to the plantation we source coffee from for our Licor 43 Baristo expression, and we don’t just find our winner there: we ensure everyone is totally immersed in the world of Licor 43 and coffee so we can inspire imaginations and creativity and, of course, educate. We’re seeing a growing consumer interest in various markets for Licor 43 and coffee-based cocktails, such as the Carajillo 43, so with this sixth edition of the Bartenders & Baristas Challenge, we are aiming to help the coffee mixology culture develop even further, with our Licor 43 brand as the liqueur of choice. 2022 looks set to be better than ever for this.”
The 2022 challenge will open to entries from around the world from 9th May at licor43.com, with applicants invited to submit films of them making and talking through their cocktail creations. Each national round chooses one winner to go on to the global final stage.
Coffee has long been part of Licor 43’s story, from the Café Asiatico in Cartagena and Café Barraquito in Tenerife in the 1950s to the Carajillo 43 today, which is a signature serve in Mexico with an RTD version launched earlier this year. “There is a natural marriage of aromas and flavours between Licor 43 and coffee,” adds Julian Fernández, “and over the last four five years that we have run this competition, we can see what inspiration this has been to entrants from both the bar and barista worlds.”
How To Enter
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