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Licor 43 contest heads to Cartagena

Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 will host the final of this year’s Bartenders & Baristas Challenge in its hometown of Cartagena.

Licor 43
Licor 43 will host the eighth edition of its Bartenders & Baristas Challenge in the brand’s hometown

The grand final for the eighth edition of the coffee-focused cocktail competition will be held in September in Cartagena, Spain. Last year’s contest was held in Madrid, while the previous editions saw contestants head to Gran Canaria.

Every year, Licor 43 calls on cocktail and coffee professionals across the world to showcase serves that pair the liqueur with coffee.

Following regional rounds over the summer, finalists will head to Cartagena for three days of workshops, seminars and testing rounds. The educational programme will be hosted by experts from the judging panel, as well as winners from the previous seven editions of the competition.

“There’s so much to explore when it comes to the natural marriage of aromas and flavours between Licor 43 and coffee and actually this leads to some really interesting areas for our bartending community to dig into in more detail,” said Blanca de la Infiesta, chief marketing officer for spirits at Zamora Company, Licor 43’s parent firm.

“Cartagena is not only the hometown of Licor 43 but also the city where one of the very first combinations of Licor 43 and coffee was born, the Café Asiático – now the Carajillo 43 is exploding around the world so we’re excited to see what else we can inspire with our agenda this September.”

According to Yelp’s 2024 Food & Drink Trends report, searches for the Carajillo cocktail increased by 118% this year.

Nine countries will take part in the 2024 competition: Germany, Mexico, the US, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Estonia, Peru and Costa Rica.

The 2024 global winner will receive two tickets to their nearest Bar Convent fair – either the US (Brooklyn), Brazil (São Paulo) or Germany (Berlin) – with accommodation and travel expenses provided.

In addition, the champion will join next year’s judging panel and become the Licor 43 coffee master for 2024, appearing with the brand at key international shows.

Gabriela Wong Arias from Costa Rica was crowned the winner of the 2023 Bartenders and Baristas Challenge.

Licor 43 sold more than one million nine-litre cases for the first time in late 2022.

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