We met Stelios Papadopoulos, Jose Cuervo Ambassador, to talk all things tequila, what it's like working for the biggest tequila in the world and what's involved in the search for the next Don of the Tequila.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT
At the moment, I’m concentrating on creating new recipes, alongside running various projects and seminars designed to inspire bartenders and consumers alike, to get involved in the world of tequila. My goal is to challenge people to experiment with Jose Cuervo, giving them the opportunity to discover how versatile tequila can be. And of course, I’ve been engaged with the search for Jose Cuervo’s next Don of Tequila! Jose Cuervo’s global bartending competition in search of the next Don of Tequila, is one of the biggest projects that I’ve worked on. It’s given me an interactive connection with the bartenders’ society and I feel really lucky to be involved.
PERKS OF WORKING FOR THE WORLD's BEST-SELLING TEQUILA?
That it is the world’s bestselling tequila! There are countless perks of working for such a huge brand, but let me share the biggest advantage. First of all, representing Jose Cuervo gives me the freedom to spread the world about tequila worldwide - a dream that I’ve always had. Jose Cuervo gave me the chance to step deeply into the world of agave and to experience the real essence of tequila. Having such a huge brand backing you, with a great portfolio, history and heritage makes it more than an honour to be its ambassador. I have the chance to develop and support the next world trend in the spirit business which is… tequila. Last but not least, there are a lot of tacos involved.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE BAR IN THE WORLD
Travelling around the world, I always find a lot of great new bars and fun places to drink tequila or a cocktail. I’m always pleasantly surprised by their creativity and innovation, but for me, there is one place that will always stand out, and that is La Capilla bar in Tequila Town, Mexico. Truly the Mecca of Tequila.
THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT DON OF THE TEQUILA IS ON, WHAT IS JOSE CUERVO LOOKING FOR IN THE WINNER?
Jose Cuervo’s Dons are the real heroes of tequila – people, past and present, who epitomise the expert craft, passion and bravery required to make the world’s most popular tequila. Their unwavering belief in quality and the spirit of tequila – true bonds, real friendship and good times – is what keeps Jose Cuervo’s 250 years of heritage fresh and relevant. The bartender who is named the next Don will need to embody all of these qualities for a chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest legends of tequila. We want to see creativity, passion and worthiness of all of our contenders!
TELL US ABOUT THE PRIZE?
Bartenders have the chance to win the prize of a lifetime. They’ll fly to Tequila, Mexico, where they’ll get to harvest their own crop of agave on the Jose Cuervo estate, blend it into a unique tequila and win the batch, labelled under their own name.
WHEN YOU'RE NOT SPREADING THE JOSE CUERVO LOVE WHERE DO YOU HANGOUT?
I mostly like to occupy myself with books, travelling and I attend seminars to improve my professional knowledge. However, at the end of the day, tequila is always on my mind. I somehow always end up hanging out at places connected with tequila.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR MOST ROCK 'N ROLL BARTENDER MOMENT?
When you’re working in Greece and surrounded with great colleagues like mine, you have your “most rock ‘n roll” bartender moment almost every night!
IF YOU HAD TO MAKE BARCHICK A COCKTAIL WHAT WOULD IT BE?
With summer coming up, I would serve you the Smoky Margarita:
50ml Jose Cuervo Silver
10ml Bushmills Black Bush
15ml agave syrup
30ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Glass: Old Fashion
Garnish: Smoked salt flakes on the rim and a wedge of lime
HOW DO YOU DRINK YOUR TEQUILA?
That’s a tough question because it depends on the mood! Pre-dinner would be a T’nT (Tequila & Tonic). Over dinner, would be Tequila Maria. At a party, I’d drink a Margarita, and after the party, I’d go for a tequila shot & beer. There is always a tequila drink for every moment!