Recipes and Insights from the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship—Part Two

In the second installment of this two-part series, the top three finishers of the coffee-and-alcohol competition share their recipes and thoughts from this year’s contest on the world’s stage.


Photos courtesy of Jordan Sanchez for World Coffee Events

Yesterday we featured thoughts, reflections, and recipes from the fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-place finishers in this year’s World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, which took place in June in Budapest, Hungary. Today, we highlight the top three finishers in the competition that celebrates the marriage of alcohol and coffee.

Mateusz Szuchnik of Poland had fun with his drinks, harkening back to days spent on the beach with friends.

Third place—Mateusz Szuchnik of Poland

What was your favorite drink you made in the competition? Why?
Coffee Colada. I really enjoyed my time on stage during my “Coffee Colada Show.” This cocktail brings a lot of fun to the world of coffee cocktails. I handed the judges sunglasses and decided to serve my signature cocktail in a “summer sunbed” on edible lemon sand made from lemon powder.

What was your inspiration for this drink?
I took an inspiration from the hot summer days when people love to spend time with friends on the beach, sitting in comfortable sunbeds and sipping pleasant piña coladas, for example.

I decided to take judges on the journey and show them a new classic cocktail with coffee and whiskey instead of rum.

Mateusz asked his judges to wear sunglasses while they sipped their drinks inspired by the beach.

How did you choose the coffee for this drink?
I was looking for a very fresh coffee with stonefruit character and lemon taste. Tanzania Lunji Estate from Bero Company played very well in this cocktail as an espresso shot because it brought balance and citrus acidity to my tropical cocktail.

What was your recipe for this drink? 

15ml of Kavalan whiskey
10ml grilled pineapple syrup
5ml peach liqueur
25g of Tanzania Lunji Estate espresso
2 dashes of cacao bitters

Method: shaken
Glass: highball with chunk of ice
Garnish: pineapple slice with cocktail umbrella

Unlike most of the competitors, Manos enjoyed his hot drink the best.

Second place—Manos Mamakis of Greece

What was your favorite drink you made in the competition? Why?
My favorite was the hot set of drinks—the one that I also chose to compete with in the final round and I had to serve with the Irish coffee. From the first time we tasted the completed beverage, we understood it was something different. You just wanted to drink more. So the decision wasn’t that hard to make. I wanted something that I would feel confident to serve.

What was your inspiration for this drink?
As it was a hot beverage, we immediately thought of a classic cocktail—the “Hot Toddy.” We created a variation of this classic cocktail with coffee.  You can find many variations of this cocktail but none with coffee, so I think we did create something new and interesting.

How did you choose the coffee for this drink?
In search of the best coffee for the competition, we tasted many, but Hartmann stood out between the others. It is complex with very interesting characteristics such as pineapple and caramel, and balanced at the same time. It was just ideal for the competition.

Manos modeled his drink after a classic Hot Toddy, using a coffee brewed with a Clever dripper.

What was your recipe for this drink?
Brewed Hartmann in Clever dripper
10ml homemade infused syrup with Earl Grey tea
5ml Monin Cane Sugar syrup
10ml Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
10ml Plantation Pineapple rum
20ml Kavalan single malt whiskey

Garnish: slice of pineapple

Martin Hudak of Slovenia won the competition, using his drink to emphasize the dangers of global warming and reusing ingredients.

First place—Martin Hudak of Slovakia

What was your favorite drink you made in the competition? Why?
Cold one from semifinal round. It was a combination of all the elements like taste, visuals, introduction, and the story behind it. I had never before served a coffee cocktail in a nautilus sea shell sitting on edible sand made out of used cascara, chaff, and coffee pucks filled up in a bowl plate made out of used coffee.

What was your inspiration for this drink?
To raise awareness in our industry about global changes such as warming, pollution, etc., which directly affect farms and farmers, and will affect our daily routine in bars and coffee shops in the short future. I want to convince other competitors to start searching for other alternatives and ways to reduce waste and use ingredients smartly.

How did you choose the coffee for this drink?
You might think that Geisha is an overrated bean and only top world baristas can touch it. But I am giving different value to the Geisha that I used. I wanted to prove that even if you use old/past crop coffee, it will still taste good, and it doesn’t matter if judges or professionals think that what is new or fresh is better. What is more important is the final test in the cup and the hard work of farmers. No work should be wasted, and I admire Graciano Cruz and his farm and their philosophy of not using water to reduce wasting it just for cleaning cherries. I tasted 22 different crops of his Geisha, but lot no. 5—which I used for the Irish Coffee and warm drink—and lot no. 7—which I used for the cold drink—were excellent and stood out from the others.

Martin served his cold drink in a shell, surrounded by edible sand made using cascara and coffee chaff in a bowl made from used coffee.

What was your recipe for this drink?
18.5g of Geisha Los Lajones by Graciano Cruz, lot no. 7
20g out, 37-second extraction
15ml Jensen’s London Dry Gin
10ml homemade Geisha cascara liquor
Lemon & lime oil foam

About Chris Ryan 263 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.