Giacomo Bucciarelli of The Connaught bar at the Connaught Hotel is heading to the international final of the Tio Pepe Challenge in Jerez after winning the UK heat with his cocktail, Ox.
10 top bartenders competed in the UK final at Hush, Mayfair where they were tested on their sherry expertise including a blind tasting, demonstrating the traditional venencia (the tool used to pour sherry from a height into a glass) and, of course, creating a signature sherry cocktail.
The judging panel, comprising Stuart Hudson, Boris Ivan and last year’s winner Cameron Moncaster, were blown away by the quality and creativity in the room and picking a winner was no easy task. Giacomo triumphed having gained full marks on this tasting, showing flair with the venencia and, ultimately, creating an outstanding sherry cocktail “Ox”.
Huge thanks to all our UK finalists:
- Alex Francis, Sack Bar
- Andrey Schmalbach Martinez, The Langham hotel
- Eblis Marcelo Martinez Ubilluz , The Conduit
- Ferdia Murray, The American Bar at The Savoy
- Gabor Molnar, The Pig in Brockenhurst
- Giacomo Bucciarelli, The Connaught bar at the Connaught hotel
- Gianluca Pavanello, Bar Swift
- Jayson Jansen Van Vuuren, LiquidChefs Ltd
- Leonardo Filippini, The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel
- Lorenzo Rocci, The Dorchester London
We will be rooting for Giacomo on 15th May when he battles against bartenders from 16 countries for the honour of International Champion. Follow us on Twitter @TioPepeFino or on Instagram @TioPepeUK to track his progress and see recipes from all our finalists.