April 18, 2019

Giacomo Bucciarelli wins the UK Tio Pepe Challenge 2019

Giacomo Bucciarelli of The Connaught bar at The Connaught Hotel is heading to the international final of the Tio Pepe Challenge in Jerez after winning the UK heat with his cocktail, Ox.

10 top bartenders competed in the UK final at Hush, Mayfair where they were tested on their sherry expertise including a blind tasting, demonstrating the traditional venencia (the tool used to pour sherry from a height into a glass) and, of course, creating a signature sherry cocktail.

The judging panel, comprising Stuart Hudson, Boris Ivan and last year’s winner Cameron Moncaster, were blown away by the quality and creativity in the room and picking a winner was no easy task. Giacomo triumphed having gained full marks on this tasting, showing flair with the venencia and, ultimately, creating an outstanding sherry cocktail “Ox”.

Giacomo Bucciarelli winner of the UK Tio Pepe Challenge 2019

UK winner Giacomo Bucciarelli

Huge thanks to all our UK finalists:

  • Alex Francis, Sack Bar
  • Andrey Schmalbach Martinez, The Langham hotel
  • Eblis Marcelo Martinez Ubilluz , The Conduit
  • Ferdia Murray, The American Bar at The Savoy
  • Gabor Molnar, The Pig in Brockenhurst
  • Giacomo Bucciarelli, The Connaught bar at the Connaught hotel
  • Gianluca Pavanello, Bar Swift
  • Jayson Jansen Van Vuuren, LiquidChefs Ltd
  • Leonardo Filippini, The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy Hotel
  • Lorenzo Rocci, The Dorchester London

Giacomo Bucciarelli follows previous UK winners Cameron Moncaster (then at Waeska at the Mandrake Hotel) in 2018 and Lucia Montanelli (The Dorchester) in 2017 in representing the UK in the international final.  Please join us in rooting for him on 15th May when he battles against bartenders from 16 countries for the honour of International Champion and follow his progress on  Twitter @TioPepeFino or on Instagram @TioPepeUK

It has been an absolute privilege to spend time with great talent from the UK bartender community and we really appreciate all the enthusiasm and knowledge shown by all who participated in the Tio Pepe Challenge UK 2019.



IWC Winemaker of the Year!