Cachaça Me If You Can
I try to point out that the apparently easy/boozy, rum-centric lifestyle I lead is at times quite hard work; early starts, late nights, uncomfortable travel, freelance money, lack of reliable commitments etc… And it’s true. But the flip side it’s not ALWAYS hard work. Sometimes it's bloody amazing and helping to judge the Yaguara ‘Cachaça Me If You Can’ cocktail competition was one of those times!
Eight competitors, three cocktails each equals twenty-four cocktails to try. A tough day’s work by anyone’s standards, right?
Actually, the only thing about this that was difficult was picking the winner from a strong, consistently high standard array of competitors, as sipping the delicious cocktails was a pleasure.
Gregory Camillo of Bar Termini was announced the proud winner of Yaguara’s ‘Cachaça Me If You Can’ cocktail competition. Gregory flies out to Brazil in February next year to visit Yaguara’s distillery in Parana where he will spend a couple of days with master blender Erwin Weimann before traveling to Sau Paulo to experience the exploding mixology scene first hand and finishing his week chilling on the beach in Rio… bom! [Translation for those that don’t speak Portuguese: Nice]
Gregory beat out eight of his fellow bartenders in front of a crowd of his peers and my fellow judges Gabriele Manfredi [Oriole Bar] and Yaguara Brand Ambassador Gianfranco Spada at Oriole bar. This was the culmination of the London wide competition in which competitors, using any variant of the Yaguara range, were asked to present an original creation and create their twist on the Rabo de Galo, a classic Brazilian drink made with Cachaça and vermouth.
‘Cachaça Me If You Can’ was created to showcase the versatility, vibrancy, and quality of artisanal Cachaça Yaguara whilst providing a platform for the skills and creativity of London’s up and coming bartenders. Apparently, the brand was not disappointed! “Throughout the heats, we have been blown away by your creativity and passion,” said Yaguara Brand Ambassador Gianfranco Spada as he opened the final.
The final of the competition also threw competitors an added challenge in the shape of a mystery scenario round designed to replicate a live bar situation testing each competitor’s creativity and ability to think on their feet.
The full list of talented competitors is as follows:
Maja Jaworska - Super Lyan
James Hawkins - SexyFish Bar
Jay Rivera - Jamie Oliver's Fifteen
Paolino Escobarman Molinaro - Hutong
Michael Sutherland - Reverend JW Simpson
Alastair Fraser - Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour
Filipa Oliveira - Demon, Wise & Partners
Zoltan Varga - CevicheUK
I’m very sure that the competition will return in 2018 and I’d strongly advise all bartenders who fancy challenging themselves to produce the very best get involved. It’s a super prize to be won and fantastic liquid to work with.