This month, Michele Venturini of Cahoots was announced as the winner of Cointreau’s latest cocktail competition, which was held at Skylon in London, England, on April 5, 2018. The competition was held in honor of the 70th anniversary of the margarita as part of the ‘Margarita loves Cointreau’ campaign, and was nothing short of a spectacular event.
Eight contestants were asked to create an inspired version of the classic cocktail – both innovative, and truly delicious – and were critiqued based off of the inspiration, flavor palate, and overall presentation of the drinks. Judges for the competition included Emma Murphy and Siobhan Payne from London Cocktail Week, Adrian Smith Wine & Spirits Columnist, Independent, and Jenia Matthews, Cointreau’s Marketing Manager.
The competition was close but was pulled away by Venturini in the end, whose cocktail was inspired by his familial heritage. When asked about the inspiration for his cocktail he said, “I was born in North West Italy, Liguria. I was with my family eating and drinking when I discovered a book from my grandfather with a picture and dedication from Margaret and a card with a recipe…The recipe was inspired by Ligurian ingredients, such as herbs, wine and pesto, all ingredients work fantastically well with Cointreau fragrance!” As winner of the competition, he was gifted a 24-hour trip to the Cannes Film Festival in 2018!
The runner up for the competition was Pepijn Vanden Abeele, whose cocktail was inspired by early heritage of the Cointreau brand, and second runner up was Eduard Balan, whose inspiration was deeply rooted in the top two cocktails of the United States – margaritas and martinis.
Those interested in tasting Michele Venturini’s winning cocktail can find it at Cahoots in London, through the end of May, 2018. For more information on the ‘Margarita loves Cointreau’ campaign, and the cocktails of this classic spirit, check here, or follow their social media pages.