Following months of anticipation, planning and stiff competition among some of the best bartenders in Southern Florida, Robert Ferrara was named the winner of the second annual Tequila Partida Spirit Bird Challenge with the Smoky Mexican cocktail. Second place was awarded to Jessica Bell with the Citricos Picante. Third place was a tie between Juanita Butler's Spicy Sombrero and Rich Bagdasarian with the Rosebud. With the consumer choice vote, Stacy Schaaf was honored for the Key West Sunset.
Recipe by Robert Ferrara, The Dutch Miami inside the W Hotel.
1.5 oz fresh watermelon juice
6 organic cilantro leaves
Jalapeño infused Partida Agave Nectar
Fresh lime juice
2 oz Partida Blanco
.5 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
Fresh cracked black pepper
Add Mezcal to rocks glass with ice. In a mixing tin: Add 5 cilantro leaves and fresh squeezed lime juice. Muddle to release the flavors of the cilantro. Add fresh-pressed watermelon juice, jalapeño-infused agave nectar and Partida Blanco. Add ice and shake. Empty rocks glass and discard the mezcal. Add fresh ice in the mezcal-rinsed glass. Strain over fresh ice. Crack black pepper on top. Garnish with 1 cilantro leaf.
On April 29, 14 mixologists from around Southern Florida battled for the grand prize at the Southernmost on the Beach, a famous hotel in Key West. The contestants’ recipes were all original, with the only requirement being that the cocktail have the contestant’s chosen marque of Tequila Partida as the base ingredient. Each contestant was given up to 10 minutes to create his or her cocktail. Points were awarded based on presentation, originality and taste, with extra points awarded for going over and above in any category. The judges included Partida Brand Ambassador Jacques Bezuidenhout, winner of Starwood Hotels Star Mixologist and Food & Beverage Director of the Westin Collonnade in Coral Gables Jennifer McDonough, and General Manager for the Southernmost Hotel Collection Matthew Babich. Gilbert Velilla, from Ortanique, emceed the evening.
“We were thrilled to host these talented and creative bartenders for the Second Annual Spirit Bird Competition,” says Gary Shansby, founder, chairman and CEO of Tequila Partida. “Robert Ferrara's creation was delicious and truly showcased the versatility of Tequila Partida. We welcome the Smoky Mexican into the Partida family of cocktails. Congratulations to all the contestants."