Eight bartenders to judge, Eight cocktails to enjoy
ORANJESTAD — “I was the only woman competing in the Ritz-Carlton’s international bartenders competition in Mexico and I ended up within the top four”, says Emilia Lopez-Henriquez, one of the seven competitors in the popular Bartender’ Brawl organized by Renaissance Aruba. She will represent Divino Aruba, specialists in premium spirits, wines and beers. Patrick Figaroa from Divino: “We are proud to have her represent us.”
Taste Aruba at his finest as Renaissance Aruba hosts top bartenders from around the island for the 5th Annual Bartender’s Brawl. This evening, Friday October 25th, you will have the opportunity to try all cocktails and judge for yourself which is the best. Bartender’s Brawl is part of eat local month- the One Happy Island culinary heritage with locally inspired dishes & cocktails. Therefore the participating cocktail should have a local ingredient to be part of the competition. Lopez-Henriquez is known for her local touch when it comes to her passion which is the creation of cocktails. “The last cocktail I have created for the Ritz had the local beer Balashi, the local herb Yerba di Hole (basil) and Pica di Papaya (spicy sauce) in it.” Lopez-Henriquez works as a waitress at the restaurant Casa Nonna, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba.
Making the impossible happen
To her a cocktail is all about making the impossible happen and create a surprise. “Essential is the balance of ingredients. Also you need to have a good look at your audience. At this competition many locals will attend so we take that into consideration. You need to combine all together and make magic.” It is her passion and hobby to create cocktails and in 2017 she won her first Ritz-Carlton bartender’s competition. “This year I won again and I got to participate internationally for Ritz-Carlton Caribbean & Latin-American region in Mexico. There I was with only male bartenders participating so I felt already a winner in that part. I was nervous as all eyes were on me while I battled within the top four contest.” She follows trends, watches YouTube videos and is not afraid to experience. “When Divino approached me to represent them in the Bartender’s Brawl I said immediately yes. So far I did not participate in a local contest and I look forward to it.”
Having good times
Figaroa is sales representative for Divino and together with Lopez-Henriquez they decided for the cocktail creation that will be prepared by her during the Bartender’s Brawl. “She set up the basics and we tasted and evaluated if it needed changes until we all agree on the perfect mix. Emilia has been one of the greatest bartenders on the island the last couple of years and we have no doubt she is going to win”, he says with a wink. Make sure you are present to hear, see and taste if Figaroa is right this coming Friday. Hear out the final winner of the bartender’s brawl 2019 announced by the panel of judges: Chef Urvin Croes (White Modern Cuisine), Ferry Zievinger (General Manager Divi Resorts) and Orlin Geerman (Director EPB Culinary Program) and a panel of influencers (including international influencer). Participating suppliers are: Manrique Capriles, Pepia Est, ATC – Aruba Trading Co, Tropical Bottling, Divino, la Cava and J & G Trading Co.
More info about eat local can be found at https://www.aruba.com/us/eat-local