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USA wins Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge 2020

Imbibe

Imbibe

29 October 2020

Annarose Krone has taken the Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge for America as the competition went online this year in response to Covid

Krone, from Nic’s on Beverly in Los Angeles, beat eight other finalists with her drink Deja Brew, which mixed Licor 43 with blended Scotch whisky, chocolate bitters, dark roast espresso and raspberries, all served in a coupe glass.

The Spanish liqueur challenged bartenders and baristas around the world to create a cocktail that incorporates Licor 43 and coffee, and Krone took inspiration for her cocktail from the brunch shifts she used to do at her last bar, before she was let go.

‘Lots of bartenders hate the brunch shift but I really enjoyed it,’ she said. ‘I always start my day with an espresso, and I like to add new things to it, so that’s what I did here. I like to take something classic and make it different and hopefully that’s what my cocktail does.’

Krone's winning cocktail
Krone's winning cocktail

This year, however, the competition was held online, through Licor 43’s website and social media, due to Covid-19. Entrants were invited to submit a video of their creations. Licor 43 received 327 original submissions before 100 were chosen to go through to local finals, where nine global finalists were picked.

On the day of the global final, the nine competitors were asked to revise their original cocktails so that they could be evaluated by the global judging panel of cocktail and coffee experts Simon Difford and Timon Kaufmann, and coffee educator Merijin Gijsbers. The final was then broadcast over Facebook Premiere.

Aidan Jordan Tibbins from Kore Bar in Wigan, UK, took second place for the European Bartending School, while Berenice Morales from Hotel St Regis in Mexico City took third.

L-R: Second-place cocktail by Aidan Jordan Tibbins; third-place cocktail by Berenice Morales
L-R: Second-place cocktail by Aidan Jordan Tibbins; third-place cocktail by Berenice Morales

‘Despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19, Licor 43 has for a fourth year challenged bartenders and baristas to create imaginative Licor 43 and coffee cocktails,’ said Difford. 

‘The recipes ranged from long to short, and creamy to spirituous. The winning cocktail, by Annarose Krone is a Scotch whisky-based riff on an Espresso Martini, while the third-placed cocktail by Berenice Morales cleverly used Greek yoghurt to produce a light cocktail that is equally suited to enjoying as a dessert alternative as is refreshing on a hot afternoon.’

Krone has won €3,000 to put towards a training course, or some professional equipment.

‘It’s certainly been a strange year and we are thrilled with the effort that the entrants have put into their creations this year,’ added Julian Fernandez, global marketing and innovation director of spirits for Zamora Company. ‘Our competition is just as much about paying tribute to the imagination and expertise of both bartenders and baristas as it is about challenging them to show us, once again, just how well Licor 43 pairs with coffee. We can only say “many thanks” to all participants in this digital year.’

You can watch the final for yourself here.

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