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  • Enrique Balestrini

Gianni's Group Bartender Competition was a Dushi one!

They did it again! One of the most fun events of the year delivered great drinks and one hell of a time!

As if the picture above does not say it all, Gianni's Group Bartender Competition was once again a great time! The turn-up was above expected and the piazza around the fountain soon after sunset was full of cocktail enthusiasts eager to savor each of the 7 creations corresponding to each restaurant of the group.

Vibes were correct and how could they not? the best cocktail crafters were ready at their stations to impress the crowd with cocktails of all kinds. With the ticket, a punch card was included that allowed us to taste each of the 7 drinks and cast our vote for the "People's Choice award".

Let's recap!

Catalina Giraldo for Gianni's Ristorante. Drink: Mysty Rose.

Inspired by women's empowerment, this Gin-based cocktail and Lychee notes was floral, fresh, and delicate. Very welcomed by the people.

Jefferson Berrio for Azia. Drink: El Frio de Sabaku.

Without a doubt one of the most intricate preparations and presentations of the night. Flor de Caña rum was the base, and then a bunch of homemade infusions and preparations that included sesame and coconut infusion, red fruit tuille, and matcha air foam. It was wildly popular! I think he even ran out of it. Huge contender!

William de La Cruz for Dushi Bagels & Burgers. Drink: A Trip to Paris.

Inspired by a recent trip. to Paris with his soulmate, William developed a drink that was both tasty and intricate with floral notes. It was like a reinterpretation of the classic Cosmopolitan Martini. It quickly took the top spot for me since I am a big Cosmo fan!

Edison Zhong for Amore Mio. Drink: Heaven's Friend.

This gin-based one was for tropical cocktail fans. Hitting all the boxes with grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, lemon, and guava, the wild card. I felt it had a lot of body, that surprised the palate after you sipped the foam on top.

Ixomar Schuilenburg for The Beach Bar. Drink: Pink Paradise.

Guava seemed to be a trend! If I am not mistaken, this was the only tequila-based cocktail of the bunch and Ixomar did not disappoint to make it strong! the ginger kick was a nice touch. Let's say it could have killed a horse and I mean that was a total compliment.

Kimverly Avalos for Azurro Ristorante. Drink: Best of Both Worlds.

Another complex preparation with Rye whiskey, vermouth, Lilet, Chambord, and bitters... all graciously perfumed with lemon zest.

Edwin Catton for Daniel's Steak & Chop. Drink: Mary & Krak.

Edwin was a real showman, gathering a crowd around him every time he made a new batch. He stated that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. and that is why he focused on making something with nuts and chocolate, of course, the Kraken Rum was the powerhouse here.

The Afterparty.

Well once all batches were empty and all votes from the crowd were cast, the afterparty started right next to the piazza, at Azia. The real show was about to start when each one of the bartenders had to make their drinks for the panel of judges and infuse their character into the presentations, after all, a part of being the best bartender is to be charismatic and vibrant.

Here are some more shots from the afterparty:

The Winners:

1st Place: William de La Cruz for Dushi Bagels & Burgers with "A Trip to Paris"

2nd Place: Jefferson Berrio for Azia with "El Frio de Sabaku"

3rd Place: Edwin Catton for Daniel's with "Mary & Krak"

Congratulations to all participants! I am sure the judges had a hard task choosing the winners and kudos to Gianni's Group for what has been one of the most fun events of the year so far. I look forward to next year! trust and believe I will be there.

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