QCOSTARICA — The 2023 Baristas and Bartenders Challenge, the annual competition by Licor 43 to find the best new and innovative ways to combine coffee and the liqueur, has come and gone, and a new champion has been crowned: Gabriela Wong Arias of La Esquina de Buenos Aires in Costa Rica.
For the competition’s seventh installment, mixologists and coffee professionals from nine different countries – Germany, Mexico, USA Brazil, Colombia, Estonia, Peru, and Costa Rica – took part in the epic final showdown in Madrid, Spain. Taking place October 16-19, finalists first got to experience a “two-day immersion in the cocktails, coffee, and culture of the brand’s home country,” including a “coffee workshop with head judge Merijn Gijsbers, a ‘mystery box’ cocktail challenge, and a Paella and Tortilla workshop.”
But it all came down to the drinks, and Arias’s “Capital Vice” – a Seven Deadly Sins-inspired cocktail – won the day. As judged by Dutch Barista Champion Merijn Gijsbers, bartender Spaniard Benabeu, and 2022 winner Yefferson Avila, Arias beat out Esau Jiménez of The Boss Speakeasy in México and Joe Arakawa of Anima in Las Vegas for second and third, respectively.
With the win, Arias takes home €3,000 Euros to put towards professional equipment and/or career development courses, a spot on next year’s judging panel, and the title of Licor 43 Coffee Master for 2024, where she will have the opportunity to appear at brand show around the globe.
The recipe for Arias’s Capital Vice has yet to be released publicly, but as is tradition with the competition, it along with all eight other finalists will be made available via Licor 43’s website for the intrepid home mixologists to take for a spin.
But until then, feel free to enjoy yourself a little Carajillo. The simple espresso-and-Licor-43 cocktail is miles better than the espresso martini, and I won’t be taking any further questions at this time.
Source: Sprudge Media Network