Eleven bartenders brought their top Diplomático cocktail to the Regional Qualifying Heats of the Diplomático's World Tournament, which took place at Ophelia's on Monday, October 3. Most of the participants in the rum-driven cocktail challenge were from Denver with two traveling from Arizona and one driving in from New Mexico.
The event was hosted by Tad Carducci, a renowned bartender, award-winning mixologist and author of A Lime and A Shaker and judged by Mark Antonation of Westword, Hailey Ortiz, a local bartender and treasurer of the Colorado Bartenders Guild, Kendall Stewart, a spirits specialist, and Eater editor Andra Zeppelin.
The winner was Brandon Casey from The Ostrich in Chandler, Arizona. His recipe included 1.5 oz of Diplomatico Riserva, .5 oz Knob Creek Rye, .75 oz lemon juice, .75 Cocktail & Sons King Cake Syrup, 1 egg white. Casey built all of the ingredients in the mixing tin, shook with cracked ice, strained into a chilled coupe. An Angostura bitters mist was the last touch before serving the drink on a reclaimed wood board adorned with cinnamon sticks, apples, and pears, a nod to seasonal elements we have here as well as in Diplomatico's homeland of Venezuela.
As the winner, Casey will move on to the U.S. Finals, which will take place in Las Vegas, semi-finals in Venezuela, and ultimately for a chance to win the title of Diplomático's World Best Bartender at The Savoy in London. The ultimate prize is $10,000 and a two year brand representative contract with Diplomático.