Today's competition is open to the public and runs from noon to 3 p.m. Simone Caporale, who was named International Bartender of the Year at this year's Tales of the Cocktail, will be emceeing the competition.
Botran rum, which is the official sponsor of Miami Spice this year, solicited hundreds of recipes from all participating restaurants. Now a panel of judges are narrowing the contestants down to a final eight participants. The results should be ready by Wednesday, according to Botran representative Vania Giordano.
Once the finalists are chosen, they will be announced and pitted against each other.
Two participants will enter the bar. Five judges will monitor what methods, garnishes, and measurements are used while each participant narrates the steps. Caporale will moderate the showdown, then present a final cocktail to the panel. Judging criteria is based on factors such as presentation, originality, flavor and aroma.
The judges are a mixture of people related to liquor industry, chefs and experienced mixologists, Giordano said.
The grand prize winner gets an all expense paid trip Guatemala to the distillery. The runner-up wins $2,500 in cash.
This is the second mixology showdown by Botran, but the first in Miami. The first Botran Rum Mixology Showdown occurred in Las Vegas earlier this year to mark Botran's entry into the Nevada market. Even though the spirits company distills its product in Guatemala, it also has a headquarters based in Miami. "This is kind of the home away from home for Botran," Giordano said.
Las Vegas was chosen for the Showdown because of its unique market, according to Giordano. Botran is considering another city, New Orleans, for a mixologist competition because of a similar market, Giordano said.
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