Cuervo Tradicional presented the award for Ireland’s Best Margarita to Dublin bartender Siobhán Darker from George’s Street bar Nolita, at the live finals in Opium, Dublin. 

The competition saw nine finalists battle it out in front of a panel of four judges and a room full of margarita fans.

The day long event allowed each finalist 20 minutes to prep and present their cocktail to the judges; Cuervo Tequila Educator Oli Pergl, 2018 Champions Andrew Ennis (Dublin) and Jonny Shaw (Belfast), and Edwina Van Kuyk from Hotpress. 

Using Cuervo Tradicional, the criteria for judging was based on inventiveness and quality in both the recipe and presentation, as well as a high level of technical skill.

Finalists were encouraged to keep sustainability in mind as well as the latest cocktail trends, as they showcased the inspirations and stories behind their takes on the traditional margarita.

Darker wins an unforgettable trip to the home of Cuervo in Tequila, Mexico. 

Her entry, Dublin Meets Mexico, is her take on the classic margarita with a Granny Smith apple syrup, jalapeño infused lime juice with saline solution and orange bitters, shaken and fine strained into a nika nora glass, garnished with a dehydrated lime wheel.

Commenting on her entry, Darker says, “Using both Irish and Mexican ingredients I wanted to put a spicy twist onto a classic margarita. 

At the same time, using different cooking techniques and bringing a taste of home with the Granny Smith apples. Winning is surreal, I’m very proud of myself and grateful for the support from my bar Nolita and from all my industry friends.”