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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkMexico & Banderas Bay Area News 

Vallarta Bartenders Compete in Tournament Finals

June 26, 2013

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - On May 22, 2013, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta held the first very successful semifinal of the Karat Vodka Bartender Tournament MX/2013, hosted by Madrileña, one of Mexico’s finest wine and liquor producers and distributors.

Close to 70 bartenders participated in this first of three eliminatory rounds in the tournament’s 6th edition, considered the only launching pad for bartenders in Mexico.

Since the contest's inception 3 years ago, more than 700 bartenders from major consumption centers in the country have participated. This year, the bartenders are competing in two different categories: Traditional Mixology and Molecular Mixology.

In the first category, contestants must create an original cocktail. The second technique involves creating a cocktail that shows an excellent presentation of style, flavor, aroma, textures, and visual effects.

Two winners from each category were chosen to move on to the finals. Three of the four winners from the Puerto Vallarta tournament were from the Banderas Bay area. In the Traditional Mixology category, Gustavo Limon (Raixes Restaurant) took first place with his 'Melon Palmer' cocktail, and Luis Vicencio (Hotel Santuario Mayan Palace) took second with 'Mayan Sanctuary.' In Molecular Mixology, Diego Jovanni Mendoza (Bar Mezcalini) placed first with 'Catarina,' and Violeta Cisneros (Stratosflair) took second with 'Satisfaction.'

Round two of the semifinals took place on June 12 at the National Auditorium Lunario in Mexico City with almost 100 bartenders participating. René Martínez (Bar El Zur) took first place in the Traditional Mixology category with the original 'Atardecer' cocktail, and Francisco Armando Palafox (Bar Omiya) came in second with 'Lula-K.' In Molecular Mixology, Samuel Ayala (China Grill) placed first with the 'Bloody Shot Karat' cocktail, and Edgar Osorno (Bulldog Café) took second with 'Gabriela.' In both categories the prizes were $12,000 pesos for first place and $6000 for second.

The Hard Rock Hotel Cancún will host the third round of semifinals on July 10th, as well as the Karat Vodka Bartender Tournament MX/2013 Grand Finale on July 11th. The 1st and 2nd place winners of each local tournament are automatically invited to the Grand National Finals in Cancun, Quintana Roo, so stiff competition is expected.

In both the Traditional and Molecular Mixology categories, the grand prize winners will receive $25,000 pesos for First Place and $15,000 for Second Place.

"The Karat Vodka Bartender Tournament MX/2013 was born with the idea of being a platform to promote the recognition of bartenders in Mexico, as well as adding more and more experts behind the bar to create colors, flavors and new experiences, thus contributing to the professionalization of the sector," explained Karat vodka marketing manager Alejandra Gallegos.