After receiving submissions from bartenders all across the U.S., U.K. and Mexico and four intense rounds of judging, Casa Dragones, the small batch ultra-premium tequila producer, has announced the Grand Prize winners of their Jamming Sessions Bartender Exchange program – Scarlett Ganzoni of Isabel Mayfair in London, England and Edwin Castillo of Cava Baja in San Luis Potosi City, Mexico. Each of them will receive $1,000 USD in prize money and a Bartender Residency in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico the home of tequila Casa Dragones.
We caught up with Scarlett and Edwin after the announcement as well as the globally esteemed judges, Yana Volfson (Cosme, Atla, Ticuchi, Damian, Ditroit) and Jose Luis Leon (Limantour, Baltra, Xaman Bar) who shared this about the challenge. “Developing and judging a program like Jamming Sessions during a challenging time for our Bartender community was a symbiotic way to nourish the soul and support the artists and musicians of our industry. I am so grateful to be a part of this program that can support the exchange of knowledge and the community at this time,” explains Volfson. While Leon shares, “The Jamming Sessions is a relevant, practical, and proactive platform that is helping create a creative community of bartenders in different countries. I’ve really enjoyed being in front of these many original and delicious cocktail creations.”
Scarlett Ganzoni (Isabel Mayfair, London)
This edition of the Casa Dragones Jamming Sessions have been a roller coaster of vibrant wild and happy emotions for me! For me the fact that tequila Casa Dragones gave me an opportunity to showcase something that is that close to my heart as it is Mexico, it’s just incredible! When you find the way to blend your passion with your job, then you just know with no doubt that… you love what you are and you are what you love!
I just really enjoy working with Casa Dragones Tequila, when you see the bottle you know you have a precious and luxurious liquid in your hands and you would do whatever it takes to discover and blend all flavour notes in a unique explosion of emotions! Pure agave… Cacao… Habanero…Pitaya…Panela… incredible inspiration of the Markets of Mexico that came to me!
¡Gracias a todos los que me apoyaron! (thank you everyone for supporting me)
Lost in Coyocán – Casa Dragones Blanco, Cordial del Mercado, Dark Cacao Liqueur, Amaro Averna, Chocolate & Mole Bitters
Edwin Castillo (Cava Baja, San Luis Potosi City)
“Creating a cocktail drawing inspiration from a geographic point is not a simple task. You have to investigate its local traditions, gastronomy, and the iconography that draws attention to this place. By doing this I chose Zipolite beach in Oaxaca, and representing it as I translated it into a cocktail was an amazing process.
Zipolite al Desnudo (Naked Zipolite) was created in relation to this nudist beach in Mexico, in relation to what I did to the ingredients, such as the grapefruit, which I striped down to the core, bringing out its highest level of usage with flavors and aromas. By doing this, I discovered that all the ingredients complimented the notes of Casa Dragones Blanco, and balanced the flavors and notes of this amazing tequila.
I’m thankful for all the people that helped and supported me throughout this process, this is a very Mexican trait, the sense of community and camaraderie. I want to thank my family, friends, and colleagues… and of course, THANK YOU CASA DRAGONES! I think of all of these people as my team, and this cocktail is for my team. ¡Gracias Equipo! (thank you team)
Zipolite – Casa Dragones Blanco, grapefruit peel & seed syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, citric acid
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