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Diplomático crowns cocktail competition winner

Venezuelan rum producer Diplomático has named Katie Rouse as the winner of its UK cocktail competition, Mixed Consciously.

Mixed Consciously
The Mixed Consciously contestants at at Terroir Tapas in Southbourne

Rouse, owner of bar Couch in Stirchley, Birmingham, competed against eight other UK finalists at Terroir Tapas in Southbourne.

She impressed the judges with her cocktail ‘Straight Up Stirchley’, which blended sunflower seeds, Diplomático Planas, waste pear, cob nut milk cordial, and lime juice. It was garnished with a waste pastry biscuit and lime gel.

Competition winner Katie Rouse’s cocktail will feature in Diplomático’s zero-waste cocktail book

Dean MacGregor, Diplomático UK ambassador, said: “The judges were really impressed by the calibre of bartenders competing. There were so many talents in the room from all over the UK.

“This year’s competition was a great way to take everyone on Diplomático’s sustainable journey and at the same time introducing them to one of the UK’s leading zero-waste restaurants and bar.

“Our judges were absolutely blown away by Katie’s drink, talent and story and we look forward to welcoming her in Venezuela next year.”

The Diplomático Mixed Consciously competition was launched earlier this year, and aims to task bartenders with using their mixology skills to prepare sustainability-focused Diplomático serves, while also reducing food waste.

Rouse will join other regional winners on a trip to Venezuela next year, and her winning cocktail will be included in Diplomático’s zero-waste cocktail book.

Rouse said: “The competition genuinely made me think about how to apply sustainable practice in bars more widely.

“It doesn’t have to cost loads of money or take up too much time, to create the Diplomático cocktail, I really used simple methods. My main aim was to ensure I didn’t waste any ingredients and I repurposed everything including a neighbour’s waste product.

“I’m obviously thrilled to have won and I’m really excited to continue using this zero-waste mind in future drink creations.”

The cocktails were presented to a panel of judges, including Jon Lister, head of drinks creation at Speciality Brands; Cicely Abdy Collins, sustainability consultant at the Sustainable Restaurant Association; and Jesse Wells, head chef of Terroir Tapas.

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