Another competition another top 10
It’s only February and competition season is already underway with myself and our own Ryan Way both progressing to national stages for major competitions.
I’m here to talk about my entry for the 2023 Cointreau Margarita Challenge.
I saw the competition advertised heavily on Instagram and thought I’d have a crack at it. Much to my delight I’ve been selected for the UK final on Monday 20th February at the Billington Hotel in London.
The challenge was to reinvent the classic margarita, with the only rules being you must use Cointreau, salt and only equipment that would have been available in 1948, the year when Margaret Sames invented the ubiquitous tequila cocktail. With that in mind, I looked a bit out of my comfort zone and decided to make a tiki drink!
In the 1940s Tiki was hugely popular in the USA with many soldiers returning from the pacific being familiar with the cuisine and drinks, as well as many civilians looking for an escape from the misery of the second world war. Trader Vic and Donn Beach were the two primary forces behind the rise of tiki, inventing many modern classics such as the Mai Tai, Zombie and Missionary’s Downfall among others. And after the last few years of lockdowns and hardship I thought we could all do with a bit of escapism again…hence the drink is called The Escapist.
The drink contains apricot infused reposado tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, salted orgeat and cherry juice, served over crushed ice with a drizzle of smoky mezcal on top which transforms the drink as it runs through the glass. All the classic components of a margarita are present, with the addition of almond, apricot and cherry which would have been readily available to Margaret Sames in her native Texas, while still providing an air of the exotic.
While this is only the UK final I’m heading to as of right now, the grand final is held in Angers, France and the Maison Cointreau, with the winner receiving a trip for two to France as well as a sponsor budget to travel and promote their drink across some of the world’s best bars!
Wish me luck!