The Day Don Julio Came To Town

The Day Don Julio Came To Town
USBG 2013 Bartender’s Tequila Challenge and Don Julio Tequila Portfolio Tasting

On a recent spring day, Don Julio came to town.  No, not the man himself, but his tequila; his entire portfolio of tequila.  It tagged along with the United States Bartenders Guild who were hosting their Tequila Challenge competition which I had the pleasure of judging.

Don Julio Collage

At the request of The Beverage Journal, I submitted a nice article complete with pics that you can find here.  In case you’re curious, the Beverage Journal is the official trade magazine of the licensed beverage industry across the country.

Have you ever been at a cocktail competition?  The bartenders have to be to come up with complex, original recipes and incorporate specific, mandatory ingredients while explaining the inspiration for their drink to the panel of judges.  All this while executing the construction of their cocktail with precise techniques.  And they’re entertaining and charming too!

Don Julio Tequila USBG

The Bartender’s Tequila Challenge was round one on the way to the final competition later in May.  While the now slightly happy guests (hey, you think anyone would waste that tequila?) finished the portfolio tasting, the five Challenge contenders prepped their version of an iconic Mexican drink, polished their glassware and glamorized their garnishes; nothing was left to chance.

With names like The Terra Madre Margarita, The Chief, The Devil’s Foil, The Dirty Dahlia and the Yale Beet Margarita the five cocktails were delicious, each more interesting than the last. After nitpicking over the subtleties and nuances of each we finally had a winner.


Don Julio Tequila Competition 3-26-13 215 (1024x683)


Da-ta-da!  Congratulations Dimitrios Zahariadis of Vasi’s, Waterbury for your amazingly original Yale Beet Margarita!

USBG Contenders


Here’s our other very worthy contenders: Rob Martini of 1249 Wine Bar, Waterbury, Josh Pekar of Valencia, Norwalk; David Roth of Public, NYC; David Bouchard of Max Fish, Glastonbury, Dimitrios Zahariadis of Vasi’s, Waterbury and Manuel Aczualdez,  Brand Ambassador for Don Julio Tequila.

Find them and get your drink on.  Cheers!

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