NoLita bartender Siobhán Darker was presented with the award for Ireland's Best Margarita by Cuervo Tradicional at Opium in Dublin earlier this week.
The competition, which was organised by Cuervo Tradicional, saw bartenders from all over Ireland submit their original margarita recipes to be in with a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tequila, Mexica, which is the home of Jose Cuervo.
The entries were whittled down to the top nine with bartenders battling it out front of a panel of four judges, Cuervo Tequila Educator Oli Pergl, 2018 Champions Andrew Ennis (Dublin) and Jonny Shaw (Belfast), and Edwina Van Kuyk from Hotpress, and an audience of margarita fans. Each of the nine bartenders had 20 minutes to prepare and present their cocktails, which were judged on the inventiveness and quality of both recipe and presentation, as well their level technical skill. Finalists were encouraged to keep sustainability in mind as well as the latest cocktail trends, as they showcased the inspirations and stories behind their takes on the traditional margarita.
Ultimately, it was Siobhán Darker's Dublin Meets Mexico cocktail that took home the top prize. Her take on the classic margarita combined Granny Smith apple syrup and jalapeño infused lime juice with saline solution and orange bitters. Commenting on her entry, Siobhán said, “Using both Irish and Mexican ingredients I wanted to put a spicy twist onto a classic margarita. At the same time, using different cooking techniques and bringing a taste of home with the Granny Smith apples. Winning is surreal, I’m very proud of myself and grateful for the support from my bar Nolita and from all my industry friends.”
During her trip to Mexico, Siobhán will witness first-hand the production process of Cuervo Tradicional; from exploring the agave fields and learning how the tradition of the Jimador has been passed down generation to generation right through to distillation and maturation. She will also get the chance to try a dram of Cuervo’s special Reserva de la Familia straight from the barrel, where it is finished in the private family cellar.
Want to try out Siobhán's award-winning cocktail for yourself? Read on for the recipe and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Dublin Meets Mexico
- 60ml Cuervo Tradicional 100% De Agave
- 25ml Granny Smith apple syrup
- 25ml jalapeño infused lime juice
- 2 dashes of saline solution
- 1 dash of orange bitters
- Dehydrated lime wheel, to garnish
- Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well.
- Fine-strain the drink into a nika nora glass.
- Serve garnished with a dehydrated lime wheel.