US-Jamming Sessions 2022

US-Jamming Sessions 2022

Posted by BigCommerce on 24th Sep 2022

June, 2022

During Barra Mexico Cocktail Week 2022, we brought the Jamming Sessions Finale, the culmination of our flagship cocktail competition of our Bartender Exchange Program, back to the spiritual home of San Miguel de Allende.

The event took place at Luna Rooftop, San Miguel de Allende, surrounded by the stunning panoramic views of the city, where eight Jamming Session finalists competed in person before a live audience and panel of internationally acclaimed judges. The panel included Fabiola Padilla, founder of BEKEB, José Luis León, Bar Manager at Limantour, Baltra Bar, and Xaman, Yana Volfson, Beverage Director of Casamata group, and our CEO and Co-Founder, Bertha González Nieves, who presided over the festivities as host.
Throughout the online Jamming Sessions competition that led up to the finale, we were thrilled to receive 400 original cocktail video submissions from mixologists throughout Mexico, the United States, and Europe, with every entry inspired by the theme of "For the Love of San Miguel." On our Instagram, we showcased the top 18 submissions so other tequila enthusiasts could engage with the content before the eight finalists were selected ahead of the Barra Mexico festivities in San Miguel de Allende. 
Through the Bartender Exchange Program, our mission is to bring together an international community of bartenders who share their ideas in the bar world while connecting through a mutual love for tequila and Mexico, and with Jamming Sessions, that's exactly what we're doing.
The eight finalists were divided into two groups for an elimination round, which was followed by the final round featuring the top three bartenders who received the highest scores in round one. In round one, bartenders competed by crafting a cocktail that showcased Casa Dragones Blanco, based on the theme, "The Dragones Calvary of San Miguel." The judge's based their scores of each cocktail on the presentation, taste, originality, and adherence to the theme. 
In the final round, the three finalists presented cocktails based on principles that guide our mission—innovation, Mexican craftsmanship, and modern, sustainable production. Beyond creating a cocktail for the judges to taste, each contestant had to prepare their cocktails in batch form so the viewing audience could vote on the fan favorite.
Watch as the 8 finalists from around the world compete for the top spot in two speed rounds of cocktail crafting. The live competition featured expert judges Jose Luis León (Limantour, Baltra Bar, Xaman), Yana Volfson (Grupo Casamata), and Fabiola Padilla (BEKEB Bar), and was hosted by Casa Dragones Co-Founder and CEO, Bertha González Nieves.
The crowned winner of the 2022 Casa Dragones Jamming Sessions was London-based Daniel Kaizen. His original cocktail, Dragon Punch, was a refreshing punch with tropical flavors of pineapple and kiwi, based on his theme selection of "Innovation" for the final round.

As the winner, he received a trophy, an invitation to a Casa Dragones Bartender Residency in San Miguel, and a set of Casa Dragones' family of ultra-premium expressions including a personalized Casa Dragones Joven to enjoy with family and friends at home. He also received a thousand-dollar grant in support of professional endeavors.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Jamming Sessions! We hope to see you back next time.