Mixing Tequila with Competition: Executing a National Cocktail Competition

#MakeItExotico fever has taken over CGPR!

This year, Exotico Tequila embarked on an adventure that was a first for the brand: a national cocktail competition. CGPR led media relations and event planning efforts for the competition, making sure Exotico Tequila was in the hands of bartenders throughout the year.

Exotico partnered with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) for the program, which invited mixologists from across the country to submit their best cocktail recipe using Exotico Blanco or Exotico Reposado 100% agave tequila as the base spirit. The Grand Prize? An all-expense paid trip to Exotico Tequila’s distillery – Destiladora González González – in Jalisco, Mexico.

After mixologists submitted their Exotico recipes online, a panel from the USBG selected 53 semifinalists, who would compete in six semifinal events held in Nashville, Tenn.; Philadelphia; Denver; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Charleston, S.C.

At the semifinal events, the finalists were given seven minutes to make their cocktails for a panel of judges, who judged the cocktails on appearance, aroma, creativity, taste and overall impression. The winners of each semifinal event advanced to the competition’s final round at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

CGPR takes five for some fun at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans

At the final round, the same rules of the semifinal events applied. The final round’s judging panel included Graciela González, Exotico Tequila ambassador and daughter of Exotico’s Master Distiller Rodolfo González; Hank Allen, chief meteorologist at WGNO-TV in New Orleans and the founder of “Sports and Spirits” podcast; Star Hodgson, USBG national membership chair; and Bryan Dias, founder and editor of NOLAdrinks.com and host of the “NOLADrinks Show with Bryan Dias.”

In the end, Charleston mixologist Megan Deschaine was named the overall Make It Exotico winner with her cocktail, “The Napoleonic Complex.” Attendees watched as the competition unfolded, enjoyed Exotico cocktails curated by Dallas mixologist Trevor Landry, and captured their memories in an Exotico-themed photo booth.

Not only did CGPR have a blast executing the competition, we’re proud of the awareness generated for the campaign. The program received more than 100 media placements, resulting in 6.1 million media impressions; and nearly 800 people attended the competition’s final round at Tales of the Cocktail.

Exotico Tequila plans to host the Make It Exotico competition again in 2018.

The Napoleonic Complex by Megan Deschaine

1.5 oz. Exotico Blanco Tequila
.75 oz. lime juice
.5 oz. agave syrup
4 dashes Bittermen’s Hellfire Bitters
2 dashes Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
1 ripe roma tomato, quartered
8-10 basil leaves

Rim half of a rocks glass with salt and pepper. Muddle tomato quarters and basil in a mixing tin, then add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Double strain cocktail into dressed rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with a skewered mozzarella ball and basil leaf.

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