OAXACA, Mexico, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sombra Mezcal, a spirit distilled to sustain the land and the people of Oaxaca, today announces its first-ever sustainable cocktail competition, "Shake and Stir to Sustain the Land and the People." Open to professional bartenders in the U.S., entries are accepted from April 22 through August 22, 2018 on Sombra's website. Sombra Mezcal is the brainchild of Richard Betts, a Master Sommelier whose love of Oaxaca inspired him to open a distillery (palenque) that sets the highest standards for eco-friendly production. Newly opened, Sombra's palenque ensures consistent quality and innovation from the fields to the bottle. Click here for an Earth Day message from Richard Betts, Founder, Sombra Mezcal.
Anti-waste pioneers, Trash Tiki's Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, will judge the competition, which is being conducted virtually to minimize its carbon footprint. Ultimately, the goal is for trend-setting bartenders to educate consumers who are equally eco-conscious and want to do right by the environment.
"We have never seen a sustainable bartending competition conducted virtually and we are really excited to be a part of it," say Ramage and Griffiths. "Travel is often carbon-intensive and dispensing with it offers an exciting avenue to explore as a future for cocktail competitions. Oaxaca is very dear to our hearts and this is a great opportunity for the winner to experience what Sombra is doing at their palenque first-hand and get a taste of Oaxaca's magic."
The Grand Prize winner receives a one-week trip to Oaxaca, a destination for Mezcal and gastronomy for a hands-on apprenticeship at Sombra's eco-friendly new palenque. Groundbreaking green initiatives include using certified sustainable wood, rainwater and solar power and upcycling distillation by-products into adobe bricks for local housing.
The competition taps into bars across the country that are recycling, upcycling and innovating ways to safeguard the environment. Some examples include transforming citrus juice and rinds into cocktail shrubs and vinegars, utilizing fruit pits as the base for new cocktail ingredients and finding alternatives to plastic straws.
"The Trash Tiki folks are leading anti-waste and eco-friendly pioneers in the bar world," says Betts. "We are truly honored to work with them to promote the idea that sustainable cocktails can not only help protect the planet and its people, but also taste delicious. The competition enables Sombra to expand its sustainability commitment beyond our palenque to help engage the U.S. bartending community at large, and ultimately, consumers."
Judging by Anti-Waste Pioneers
All entries will be judged by Ramage and Griffiths, whose provocative Trash Tiki pop-up bars have raised the eco-consciousness of bartenders across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Combining a love of Tiki and punk rock aesthetic, the duo tirelessly promotes cocktails made from bar by-products otherwise destined for the trash. They began their approach to sustainable cocktails while behind the stick at London's renowned Dandelyan bar.
Competition Guidelines and Grand Prize
- Eligible Entrants:
- All professional U.S. bartenders, age 21+
- Judging Criteria:
- Best showcasing of sustainable Sombra Mezcal
- At least 1 oz or more of Sombra
- Overall flavor
- Recipes may incorporate a maximum of 5 ingredients
- At least 2 that are demonstrably eco-friendly
- Finalists & Winner Announcements:
- 12 finalists announcement in September
- Grand Prize winner announcement in October
- The Grand Prize
- A week-long, all expenses paid trip for the winner and their guest to Oaxaca, a destination for gastronomy and Mezcal
- A hands-on sustainability apprenticeship at Sombra's new palenque
- Immersion into sustainable production, from the agave fields to the bottle
- Introduction to groundbreaking practices, like upcycling distillery by-products into adobe bricks for local housing
- Support of local reforestation efforts by planting native trees
Sombra's Environmental Consciousness-Raising Movement
With the motto of "Distill to Sustain the Land and the People," Sombra recently launched groundbreaking sustainable initiatives at its new palenque. They include:
- Organic Espadín Agaves, Not Conventional
- Certified Sustainable Wood, Not Deforestation
- Solar Power, Not Animal Labor
- Native Yeast, Not Commercial
- Rainwater to Minimize Municipal Resources
- Clean-Burning Propane Gas-Fired Stills, Not Wood-Fired
- Mezcal By-Products as Adobe Bricks for Local Housing, Not River Pollution
- Love for the Oaxacan Community Through After-School Children's Education
- Global Commitment by Donating to 1% for the Planet, an Environmentally-Focused Nonprofit Organization
About Sombra Mezcal
Produced by Master Sommelier Richard Betts since 2006, Sombra Mezcal sets the highest standard in Mezcal production. Made from organically farmed, high altitude Espadín agave, and distilled in Oaxaca, Mexico at the traditional strength of 90 proof, Sombra Mezcal was named the "Best Agave Spirit in the World" by F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal. It later earned Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
In 2017, Sombra opened a new, state-of-the-art distillery (palenque) created as a model of sustainable production. The resulting Mezcal is a testament that world-class agave spirits do exist outside of Tequila. Sombra Mezcal is part of Davos Brands' premium portfolio that includes Aviation Gin, Astral Tequila and TYKU Sake.
SOURCE Sombra Mezcal