Joao Vicente takes Tío Pepe Challenge crown

Drinks: Drinks, Fortified, Wines
Other: Competitions

It’s often under-utilised in drinks and Tío Pepe wanted to right that wrong when they launched a global sherry cocktail comp. This year, German bartender Joao Vicente took home the Tío Pepe Challenge title after competing against eight international markets in the final.

Lisbon-born Vicente’s Jerez Sin Frontera, a delicious blend of Tío Pepe Fino infused with black tea, González Byas PX Néctar and Nomad Outland Whisky, knocked the judges for six.

‘Competition was tough,’ Antonio Flores, chair of the judges and master blender at González Byass, said. ‘Eight very talented professionals competed for the Tío Pepe Challenge 2017 title, but Joao really caught the judges’ attention with a stunning cocktail that combined the most interesting ingredients to produce a show stopping result.’

The Tío Pepe Challenge – previously known as The Sherry Apprentice –  was created by González Byass to inspire bartenders from around the world to create original, great tasting cocktails using sherry as their principle ingredient. Regional heats have been held in eight different countries over the past six months. More than 400 bartenders worldwide participated in this year’s comp.

The international final was held on Friday at the Feria de Jerez, where the eight national finalists competed live in front of a panel of experts.

Jerez sin Fronteras
Blended black tea infused Tio Pepe Fino – 3,5 cl
Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX – 1,5 cl
Nomad blended Scotch whisky – 3 cl
Orange oils 
Glass: crystal glass
Technique: stir in silver tea pot and fine strain
Garnish: tapa of homemade bread chips, Serrano ham and rosemary honey (by side). On the cocktail: orange peel

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With a core team that includes Chris Losh, Miranda Fitzgerald, Laura Foster, Holly Motion and Isabella Sullivan, plus an impressive roster of columnist bartenders, sommeliers and specialist journalists, Imbibe collectively boasts hundreds of years of on-trade drinks industry experience and knowledge.

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