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Cointreau’s Margarita Challenge returns for 2023

Returning for its third year, the Cointreau Margarita Challenge is inviting the world’s most inventive mixologists to reimagine the iconic cocktail, 75 years on from its initial invention.

Cointreau Margarita challenge 2023
The Cointreau Margarita Challenge has returned for its third year

Entries for the 2023 Cointreau Margarita Challenge are now open, and bartenders from around the world are invited to submit their Cointreau Margarita recipe at by 31 January.

Cointreau is a staple ingredient in the original Margarita recipe, which was created by Dallas socialite Margaret ‘Margarita’ Sames in 1948.

Today, the classic serve remains one of the most popular in the world, and was the US’ most popular cocktail of 2022, according to CGA’s Cocktail Sales Tracker by Nielsen IQ.

The 2023 edition of the cocktail competition will celebrate the Margarita’s milestone by asking participants to draw inspiration from the tools, techniques, and historical context of the 1940s.

The participants will be asked to imagine they are at a party of Margaret Sames, who has requested they come up with a unique drink that will ‘please her guests’ sophisticated palates’.

‘The cocktail you come up with tonight will go down in history as the Original Margarita,’ the brief says. ‘How do you make it?’

Cointreau Margarita challenge 2023
Margaret Sames invented the Margarita in 1948

How to enter and win a trip to France for two

Participants will have until 31 January 2023 to submit their creative spins on the iconic drink — with techniques, ingredients, storytelling, presentation, and historical relevance all crucial factors in the jury’s selection process.

Submissions must include at least 20ml of Cointreau l’Unique, and salt. Any other ingredients used are up to the discretion of the mixologist.

In honour of the 75th anniversary of the Margarita, participants must only use cocktail equipment that was available during the 1940s.

This year’s judging panel includes Carole Quinton, Cointreau’s master distiller; Rory J Shepherd, former creative director of Paris’ Little Red Door; Kelly Magyarics, journalist and expert in spirits and cocktails; and Jonathan Stanyard, 2022 winner of the Margarita Challenge.

Cointreau Margarita challenge
Jonathan Stanyard won the competition in 2022

The visual presentation of the drink and the imagery provided will factor into the jury’s decision, as will the drink’s name and the story behind it.

The 10 finalists will be chosen on Margarita Day (22 February).

In April, the finalists will be flown to France for three days of immersive visits and mixology challenges, culminating in a final hosted at Cointreau’s historic mansion in Angers.

There, the best recipe will be selected, and the first-place winner will walk away with an additional trip for two to France, and a sponsor budget, which will allow them to take off on a tour to promote their own creative take on the Original Margarita in the best cocktail bars selected by Cointreau.

The winner will be announced publicly on Cinco de Mayo (5 May).

The competition is open to professional bartenders anywhere in the world, including those not currently in employment.

Think you have what it takes to win? Make sure you submit your Cointreau Margarita recipe by 31 January 2023 by visiting

To watch the Cointreau Margarita Challenge promotional video featuring Alfred Cointreau, click below:

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