Emillio Ortiz Wins Denver Exotico Tequila Cocktail Competition, With “Spice of Life” New Orleans Next!

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By Joe Contreras, Photos by Shannon Garcia, Latin Life Denver Media

Exotico competition Judge & Latin Life Denver photographer Shannon Garcia with an Amante tequila cocktail.

Exotico competition Judge & Latin Life Denver photographer Shannon Garcia with an Amante tequila cocktail.

The United States Bartenders’Guild (USBG) “Make It Exotico” Cocktail Competition has named its Denver semifinal winner. A four-person judging panel, that included Latin Life Denver photographer Shannon Garcia, named Emillio Ortiz, a mixologist at 503W Open Kitchen + Craft Bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the winner with his cocktail “The Spice of Life.” Along with the trophy for winning this leg of the competition, Ortiz receives an all-expense paid trip to Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans to compete against six other finalists for the Grand Prize: an all-expense paid trip to Exotico Tequila’s distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.

Emilo Ortiz (center-rear) posess with family & friends after winning the Denver semi-finals competition of "Make it Exotico".

Emilo Ortiz (center-rear) posess with family & friends after winning the Denver semi-finals competition of “Make it Exotico”.

Latin Life Denver was pleased to serve as a judge for the (USBG) “Make It Exotico” cocktail competition held in April 24th at the Tryst Lounge in downtown Denver. Judging criteria was based on appearance, aroma, creativity, taste and overall impression.

Ortiz’s “The Spice of Life” cocktail recipe: Ingredients: 1.5 oz. Exotico Reposado Tequila 1 oz. Thai Chili-infused Blueberry Syrup 1 oz. Egg White .5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice .25 oz. Campari 7 dashes of Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters Salted Chocolate Shavings Instructions: Combine all ingredients (minus the chocolate shavings) into a mixing tin and shake with ice. Strain back into shaking tin without ice and shake once again. Serve cocktail in a coupe glass and garnish with a hanging pick with chunks of salted dark chocolate and fresh blueberries.

Ortiz’s “The Spice of Life” cocktail recipe:
Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Exotico Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Thai Chili-infused Blueberry Syrup
1 oz. Egg White
.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.25 oz. Campari
7 dashes of Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
Salted Chocolate Shavings
Instructions:
Combine all ingredients (minus the chocolate shavings) into a mixing tin and shake with ice. Strain back
into shaking tin without ice and shake once again. Serve cocktail in a coupe glass and garnish with a
hanging pick with chunks of salted dark chocolate and fresh blueberries.

Mixologists from across the United States are being challenged to make their best cocktail using Exotico Blanco or Reposado Tequila as the base spirit. Winner of the seven semifinals events will receive an all-expense paid trip to Jailsco, Mexico to visit Exotico Tequiola’s distillery Destilodora Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Nyson Rodrigues (right -rear) with family & friends. Extreme & Exotic was the name of his Exoctico cocktail

Nyson Rodrigues (right -rear) with family & friends. Extreme & Exotic was the name of his Exoctico cocktail

Denver Crowd Favorite Winner_Benjamin Carrington with his Exotico cocktail, "Dimly lit Agave

Denver Crowd Favorite Winner_Benjamin Carrington with his Exotico cocktail, “Dimly lit Agave

katie Krieger makes her famous Manzana Fumado which includes a dyhydrated smoke d apple slice

Katie Krieger makes her famous Manzana Fumado
which includes a dyhydrated smoked apple slice.

Topher Hartfield with his Exotico cocktail "Rosa's Cantina Sour" with requires a line of dried rose petals and fresh grated cinnamon.

Topher Hartfield with his Exotico cocktail “Rosa’s Cantina Sour” with requires a line of dried rose petals and fresh grated cinnamon.

Mattie Cowan makes green Exotico Tequila cocktail "Amante" garnished with cndied organe peel and bar cherry on rose skewer.

Mattie Cowan makes green Exotico Tequila cocktail “Amante” garnished with cndied organe peel and bar cherry on rose skewer.

Photos by Shannon Garcia, Latin Life Denver Media