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Switch On The Night

Olmeca Tequila

23 Nov 2015

Olmeca Tequila Cocktails: Tips from a Pro

There are good bartenders and then there are great bartenders. Kurt Schlechter is the latter. A great bartender can do many things: he can entertain you, he can handle his scandal in times of stress but most importantly- a great bartender can make a great cocktail. That’s where Kurt soars above the rest, his cocktails aren’t just a moment-on-the-lips kind of experience, they’re so fresh and innovative that they’ve literally won awards. Because, yes, winning awards for cocktails is a thing- and it’s awesome.

Here are his 5 top tips for creating award winning cocktails:

Build On a Good Base

Pick the star of your cocktail and then build around that. If you’re making a tequila cocktail use your other ingredients to enhance that and compliment it. A handy trick (if you will excuse the terrible pun), Kurt says, is to rub the tequila between your hands and smell. The heat will minimize the alcohol and enhance the subtle notes and flavours. Trust your senses, if you can smell cinnamon- go with it.

Be True to The Spirit

Look at the history of your spirit: where’s it from? What is it’s story? This often leads to great insight and flavour combinations. A recipe tells a story, let that story be rich and interesting.

Be Strong

Cocktails aren’t alcoholic fruit juice, you don’t want to disguise the alcohol. A great cocktail has an oomph, if you have good quality alcohol- make it strong.


“If I could talk throughout a competition, I’d always convince the judge to let me win” jokes Kurt. Bartending is more than the finished product, it’s the process. Joke with your audience and tell the story of what you’re creating. If you want to throw in a little shake and joke- hey, it’s all great garnish to an awesome experience.

Be Original

This has got to be the most important thing when it comes to being truly award winning. Be original. Why create something that already exists? Think of all the weird and wonderful concoctions in this world and then create the one that is most importantly. “The weirder the better”, says Kurt, “as long as it tastes good”. 

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