Close Menu

El Bandarra reveals competition winners

Spanish apéritif brand El Bandarra has named Zach Sapato and Libby Smith of Glasgow bar The Absent Ear as the winners of its first Bar to Barcelona UK cocktail competition.

El Bandarra finalists
El Bandarra’s Bar to Barcelona finalists

El Bandarra was founded in Barcelona by twin brothers Alex and Albert Virgili.

More than 50 teams took part in the brand’s first bartender competition, which tasked entrants with creating an El Bandarra serve that reflects the story of the creators, with extra points for taste, presentation and connection to the brand.

The competition opened for entries in March with a call for bartenders to submit their creations using El Bandarra Al Fresco, an aperitivo made with Spanish wines and Mediterranean botanicals.

Three teams went through to the final, held at the Bandarra family winery in Barcelona last month, following UK heats held during the summer.

Barcelona-based bartenders Tom Godfrey and Theo Thomas Quinn of Foco, and Pol Mas of Lilith & Sons, joined the founders on the judging panel.

Scotland finalists Sapato and Smith won the competition with their serve, Stems Up.

The cocktail combined El Bandarra Al Fresco, Giffard Menthe Pastille, fresh lime juice and cucumber syrup.

The other finalists were Lucy Thomas and Georgia Balson of Lyaness in London, and Shiv Lal and Stephanie Rainbow of Kimmel Hotel in North Wales.

At the final in Barcelona, the finalists were tasked with creating their cocktails for 120 guests as part of the founders’ annual party, Festa Major. An audience vote and speed round also helped the panel choose the winners.

Brand ambassador Alexa Farrow added: “It was wonderful to see the bartenders really embrace our El Bandarra energy and entertaining the crowd with such creativity.

“No other cocktail competition would give you animal masked bartenders, Bhangra dance-offs, a water blessing by cloaked biblical characters or a a Peperami parasol garnish. The teams smashed it and we look forward to hosting the Bar to Barcelona competition again next year.”

Last month, El Bandarra marked the launch of its Grannies Know Best campaign with a limited edition Nan-groni cocktail kit.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No