Brazil Triumphs in Fifth Annual Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge

Nine national winners competed for the Bartenders & Baristas Challenge title this year by submitting their drinks via YouTube.

FROM STAFF REPORTS
BARISTA MAGAZINE

Licor 43 once again hosted one of the world’s most exciting coffee cocktails competitions, the Bartenders & Baristas Challenge, and the 2021 champion was revealed today: Congratulations to Thalita Freire from Venda do Maninho in Brazil!

The competition is the brainchild of the Spanish liqueur brand and calls on cocktail and coffee professionals around the world to showcase their expertise and creativity in the art of pairing Licor 43 and coffee.  An audience of fellow coffee-cocktail fans tuned into the brand’s official YouTube channel yesterday, October 27, to watch the grand finale, which was hosted by Gavin Wrigley, head of education at the European Bartender School, and see Thalita take the top spot with their winning cocktail: Tropicália.

Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge with the cocktail, Tropicália
Thalita Freire of Brazil won top honors in the Licor 43 Bartenders & Baristas Challenge with this cocktail, the Tropicália. See the recipe later in this article!

The 2021 judging panel included returning cocktail guru Merijn Gijsbers and coffee consultant Timon Kaufmann, with Penelope Bass, senior editor at Imbibe Magazine, joining. They were tasked with watching films sent in by nine chosen winners of their national rounds and evaluating their coffee-cocktail creations. Second place was awarded to Maj Schöffmann from the European Bartender School with his Spanish Velvet, and third position went to Michelle Nguyen from the United States with her Good Morning Vietnam creation.

“At Licor 43, supporting the bartender community is one of our key priorities, so during the pandemic last year we moved our competition online to allow more people to participate,” says Julian Fernandez, global marketing & innovation director for spirits of Zamora Company. “Feedback was very positive, with more entries than we ever expected, so we maintained the digital format in 2021 to ensure that Licor 43 continued to spark their coffee-cocktail imaginations. The fact that we reached 27.5 million people globally really showed that it worked. 2022 will be the sixth edition of our competition and will focus on combining the best of both worlds: in person, and with some virtual elements. We can’t wait!”

Judge Timon Kaufmann adds, “Thalita won because she was delivering exactly what we were looking for: a simple and easy-to-replicate, yet delicious, coffee cocktail that showcases the potential and flavours of Licor 43. More than this, she provided a good story and name, as well as showing profound knowledge about the coffee she was using. Well done!”

Fellow judge Merijn Gijsbers adds, “I absolutely loved Thalita’s drink Tropicália! In a video that showed her passion for presenting new drinking experiences, she managed to create a cocktail that brings all the flavor notes of Licor 43, the coffee of her choice, and the other ingredients together in a sweet and pleasant drink. I like how she played with the acidity of the fresh passion fruit and made the ingredients work together in a cocktail with subtle fruity flavours, but also notes of caramel and licorice. The drink is easy to prepare and looks elegant. Very well done!”

Thalita wins €3,000 to put toward a training course or professional equipment of her choice.

RECIPES FOR THE TOP 3 DRINKS IN THE BARTENDERS & BARISTAS CHALLENGE

FIRST PLACE: BRAZIL—TROPICÁLIA

INGREDIENTS:

50ml Licor 43

25ml Catuaí Amarelo coffee

20ml Strained pure passion fruit pulp

Garnishing: 1 basil leaf

COCKTAIL PREPARATION:

• Freeze the cup with ice cubes and leave it.

• Open the pure passion fruit and remove the pulp; with help of a sieve, separate the concentrated liquid from the seeds.

• Put all the ingredients in a shaker and shake without ice until it creates a little foam.

• Add the ice to the shaker and make a hard shake.

• Remove the ice from the glass.

• With the help of a hawthorn and a strainer, pour the cocktail into a coupe glass and fill it.

• Garnish: Knock the basil leaf and aromatize the glass in circular movements. Decorate by putting it in the middle of the cocktail.

COFFEE PREPARATION:

• Coffee used: Catuaí Amarelo coffee

• Method of extraction: French press

• Gr. of dry coffee used: 20g

• Gr. of liquid produced: 100ml

• Water temperature: 96ºC

• Extraction time: 4 minutes

• Amount of pours: 1

SECOND PLACE: EUROPEAN BARTENDER SCHOOL—SPANISH VELVET

INGREDIENTS:

45ml cold-brew coffee concentrate (1:8)

45ml Licor 43

30ml Wheat vodka

15ml Maraschino liqueur

100ml Coca-Cola

Garnishing: Maraschino cherry

COCKTAIL PREPARATION:

• Brew cold-brew coffee.

• Chill Coca-Cola and a coupe glass.

• Prepare a shaker and pour the cold-brew coffee, Licor 43, vodka, and Maraschino liqueur.

• Dry shake.

• Shake with ice and double strain.

• Top with Coca-Cola.

• Garnish with Maraschino cherry and serve.

COFFEE PREPARATION:

• Coffee used: Kimbo Premium Blend

• Method of extraction: Cold brew

• Gr. of dry coffee used: 50g

• Gr. of liquid produced: 400ml 

• Water temperature: 4ºC

• Extraction time: 24 hours

• Amount of pours: 8,9

THIRD PLACE: USA—GOOD MORNING VIETNAM

INGREDIENTS:

60ml Café du Monde cold brew

30ml Cognac

30ml Condensed milk

37ml Licor 43

Crushed ice

COCKTAIL PREPARATION:

• Add cold brew to a collins glass.

• Add cognac to cold brew.

• Fill the glass with crushed ice.

• In a separate small pouring vessel, combine Licor 43 and condensed milk. Stir thoroughly.

• Pour Licor 43/condensed milk into the Collins glass.

• Mix slowly.

COFFEE PREPARATION:

• Coffee used: Café du Monde

• Method of extraction: Cold brew

• Gr. of dry coffee used: 60g

• Gr. of liquid produced: 450ml 

• Water temperature: Refrigerate

• Extraction time: 24 hours

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