The results are in!! Although both the US and Global Finals for the Tio Pepe Challenge are being rescheduled, with the Global Finals slated for early October, here are the winners who will be advancing to the national finals being held in Miami.
The six contestants will be competing for a chance to win a fully paid trip to Spain, with cash prizes for the top three finalists: 1st prize $2000, 2nd prize $1000 and 3rd prize $500!
Thank you to all who entered and we hope you will try again next year.
Winning bartenders, their creations, and inspiration: For full recipes and additional information please visit: ChilledMagazine.com/TioPepeChallenge/#Competition
Everything With Purpose
Lance Bowman – Monnie Burke, Chicago
- 1 1/2 oz. Leonor Palo Cortado
- 3/4 oz. Tio Pepe
- 3/4 oz. Lime “Stuice”
- 3/4 oz. Island Spiced Sage Stem & Chamomile Syrup
- 1/4 oz. Kumquat & Pineapple Cordial
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice and shake, double strain into chilled Old Fashioned glass over a large hand-cut ice cube. Garnish with a cocktail skewer of candied kumquat and pineapple reserved from making cordial place on rim of glass along with plouche made with sage leaves reserved from making syrup. Serve on a fancy tray with aromatic accouterment.
“The inspiration for my cocktail comes from many things, like the memories of chamomile tea my grandmother would always greet me with, and the smell of sage from her garden. But there are two more that are equally significant, trying to make a hyper-sustainable cocktail, and creating a lower ABV tiki-inspired cocktail that still makes sense and respects sherry as the starring ingredient. Gonzalez Byass puts a huge amount of passion and thought into their wines, and not treating it with the utmost respect would be a disservice to not just the wine itself, but the art, time, dedication and sense of purpose put into it by everyone involved in making it.”
– Lance Bowman
Trinh Quan Huy-Philip – The St. Anthony Hotel, San Antonio
- 2 oz. Amontillado Sherry (Gonzalez Byass Vina AB)
- 3/4 oz. Gekkeikan Plum Wine
- 3/4 oz. Rose’Lime juice
- 1 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs
- Spray Lagavulin 16yrs (on top)
Preparation: Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and then roll it for 5 times. Strain into a pre-chilled coupe. Mist with Lagavulin 16-year on top of the drink. Garnish with a lemon zest.
“Inspired by Ginza, it was Tokyo’s first Western-style shopping district and it’s still where the old money shops. The wide boulevards and narrow lanes of Ginza are lined with high-end boutiques, department stores and exclusive restaurants. Despite being a high-end shopping area, Ginza is packed with many Izakaya establishments. Considering as a casual restaurant in Japan where people go to enjoy Japanese food and drinks often referred to as a type of gastropub.”
– Trinh Quan Huy-Philip
Damian Langarica – A.bar, Philadelphia
- 2 oz. Don Alfonso oloroso sherry
- 3/4 oz. spiced demerara syrup*
- 1/2 oz. preserved lemon juice**
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 oz. cinnamon Nectar Pedro Ximenez sherry***
Preparation: Combine and dry shake all the ingredients except the PX sherry, then add ice and shake again. Double strain into a chilled coupe, and slowly pour the PX through a bar spoon to the bottom of the glass to create the layering effect. Finally, garnish the drink with an orange peel and grated cinnamon.
“When I was creating this cocktail I wanted to create a cocktail where all the ingredients had a meaning that could relate to the history of sherry. This cocktail for me represents a small storyline throughout time and how all the different cultures that lived in Jerez helped to develop sherry into what it is today. The use of preserved lemon represents how the phoenicians who were great travelers, used a preservation technique by covering food in salt which was essential for long distance travel. They also brought wine making to the region. I chose oloroso and Px as a representation of the Moors who were the ones who developed the fortification and distillation process into Iberia.
– Damian Langarica
Sam Treadway – Backbar, Somerville
- 2 oz. Tio Pepe fino sherry
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz. orgeat
- 1/4 oz. green chartreuse
- 1/4 oz. lime juice
Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wheel, pineapple frond on a umbrella pick.
“I lived in Hawaii for a year and it became part of my soul. I love the beaches, the people, the sea salt air and the spirit of the islands. I wanted to take the deliciously savory salty vibe of Tio Pepe fino sherry and send it across the globe to a tropical getaway. The “Fino Island” is refreshing and low abv. It has classic tiki flavors with pineapple, lime, and orgeat, but then a unique savory quality with the sherry and chartreuse.”
Abigail Gullo – Ben Paris, Des Moines
- 1 3/4 oz. Tio Pepe Fino En Rama Sherry
- 3/4 oz. Singani or Pisco
- 3/4 oz. Cocchi Rosa
- 1/2 oz. Gonzalas Byass Solera 1847, Oloroso Dulce
- 4 drops saline rosemary thyme olive oil solution* (for garnish)
Preparation: Stir ingredients in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with 4 drops of saline rosemary thyme olive oil solution.
“This cocktail was inspired by Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz who wrote a famous poem titled Foolish Men. She is known as America’s First Feminist and she was badass. Sor Juna Inez was an erotic feminist poet in the 17th century who refused marriage to a viceroy and became a nun instead so she could have her creative and actual freedom. Unwittingly, the path I seem to have taken as well. Though I hope to avoid death by leprosy. To honor her, I choose an unaged American brandy to play with the Tio Pepe en rama as well as a soft rose vermouth. This holy trinity makes a mouth watering aperitif cocktail. A touch of duche Oloroso gives the cocktail some backbone, like the lovely lady herself. And the drops of olive oil solution on top enhances the top notes of salinity from the sherry while creating a savory mouth feel.”
– Abigail Gullo
When Worlds Collide
Ricardo Acevedo – Le Sirenuse, Miami
- 1 3/4 oz. Tio Pepe
- 3/4 oz. coconut vermouth
- 3/4 oz. lemongrass sake
- 3 drops ginger olive oil
Preparation: Stir all ingredients except ginger olive oil. Strain into Nick and Nora then finish with three drops of ginger olive oil.
“When I was 13 years old me and my family moved to Singapore from Mexico. The first dish I ever tried was a restaurant take on the iconic Tom Kha soup. As a kid trying unknown flavors to my palate such as lemongrass, Thai lime leaf, coconut milk, and ginger created one of the most amazing culinary moments I had ever experienced. Using the template of the bamboo cocktail I wish to recreate that moment using similar ingredients in a more subtle and elegant way that allows the Tio Pepe to shine through.” Ricky Acevedo