Yeferson Avila from the bar Cardinal and the restaurant Mar y Zielo in Colombia has won the sixth edition of the Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge as the competition returned to a live final format for the first time in three years.
Taking place once again in Licor 43’s home-from-home, Gran Canaria, the competition calls on cocktail and coffee professionals around the world to showcase their expertise and imagination in the art of pairing Licor 43 and coffee, and this latest edition welcomed regional finalists from nine markets around the world: UK, Estonia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, USA, Australia, Brazil and Colombia.
On the day, Yeferson was crowned winner with their Armonía: 23ml Licor 43, 7ml Amaro Montenegro, 30ml Espresso, 40ml pineapple extract and 2gr of toasted coconut. The runners up were Cristian Ponce from Mexico with his Alquimista 43, and Raimond Ummus from Estonia with Ruibarbo 43. Alquimista: 30ml Licor 43, 30ml Espresso, 25ml Vermouth Rosso, 2 dash of Angostura Bitters and orange peel as a garnish. Ruibarbo 43: 40ml Licor 43, Espresso 12,5 ml, 10ml pineapple juice, 20 ml lime juice , 11 gr of rhubarb, 7gr of ginger and with a garnish of pineapple leaves and local flowers.
Yeferson Avila takes home a bursary to put towards professional equipment and career development courses and will take their place on the judging panel next year.
The 2022 judging panel was led by International Barista Champion Merijn Gijsbers, who has worked with the competition since 2019. Joining him were American bartender and mixologist supremo Lynnette Marrero, known for creating the world’s first all-female speed bartending competition, ‘Speed Rack’, and Thalita Freire, the 2021 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge Champion from Brazil who won with her Tropicália.
“It felt so very good to be back to our in person final – and after months of live regional finals around the world, too,” says Zamora Company Global Marketing & Innovation Director for Spirits Julian Fernandez. “Gran Canaria is home to the plantation we source coffee from for our Licor 43 Baristo expression so it’s a natural home for us. This trip is always educational as well, and we make sure everyone is totally immersed in the world of Licor 43 and coffee so we can spark their coffee cocktail creativity. Enormous congratulations to Yeferson Avila – a thoroughly deserved winner.”
Coffee has long been part of Licor 43’s story, from the Café Asiatico in Cartagena and Café Barraquito in Tenerife in the 1950s to the Carajillo 43 today, which is a signature serve in Mexico with an RTD version launched earlier this year. “There is a natural marriage of aromas and flavours between Licor 43 and coffee,” adds Julian Fernández, “and over the last five years that we have run this competition, we can see what inspiration this has been to entrants from both the bar and barista worlds.”
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