Madrid Day 2

The second day had two challenges, one award ceremony and plenty of nerves!

Need for Speed

Remember how I said that 8 minutes to make cocktails is quite long, but with the addition of nerves, it might still be a perfect plot for bartender meltdown? Well – shame on me for telling, because that’s exactly what happened in my case.

I felt quite well prepared and ready until the countdown, and then it hit:

Judges: “Are you ready”

Me: “Yes”

Judges: “3,2,1 – Go”


The conversation inside my head though, was something like this:
Holy hippo what am I doing here?? Wasn’t I supposed to do something? Ah, Im making drinks – but which?

As the initial fog lifted, I was able to regain my head, and make my round of drinks:

Ketel One Sour, Ketel One Moscow Mule, Rob Roy (And yes, I did use Blue Label), Rosita and Last Word

Mixing drinks

Calm on the outside – chaos on the inside

World Class Madrid Speed challenge

Our lovely judges: Simon Difford, Dennis Tamse & Fjalar Goud

After the speed challenge I was quite down. To be honest, I wanted to go jump in the ocean (lucky for me Madrid doesn’t have one). However, it made me realise something very important. Since I was training for this and knew what to expect, it was very disappointing when I couldn’t deliver. The judges though, who saw and tasted it for the first time, had no idea what to expect and therefor didn’t have any expectations.

But what if this ever happen again? Well…..


My last challenge of the day was the Cannes Red Carpet challenge.

The Signature Cocktail

My cocktail was inspired by Morgan Freeman for two reasons: 1) He’s been one of my favo actors since I first saw him in Shawshank Redemption and 2) I wanted an actor that has the same souave character as the spirit.

When you look back on Mr. Freemans career, its quite interesting how certain dates kind of pop out.
Take for instance his breakthrough on the silver screen, Street Smart from 1987. This was the same year Don Julio Gonzales’s sons created a tequila bearing their fathers name in celebration of his 45 years as a tequila maker.
There is no doubt Don Julio Tequila has changed the world of tequila, and the impact it has had can be summed up in Mr. Freemans 1985 movie title –  “That was then….This is now”.

The name of my drink was inspired by Mr. Morgans 2003 movie Dreamcatcher, because I feel it captures the spirit of Don Julio Gonzales. He had a dream, and through hard work and passion, he dedicated his life to following that dream. 2003 was the year he decided to retire, and pass his legacy on to Mr Enrique de Colsa, the current Master Distiller at Don Julio.

A dreamcatcher is also an object said to filter someones dream, letting only the “good” dreams pass while catching the “bad ones” in the net.
I am definitely a dreamer, and I’ve had mine since I was young, I felt this was the perfect occasion to use it.


Monica Berg 1

45 ml Don Julio Blanco
20 ml Fresh Lemon juice
20 ml Plum & Frankincense syrup
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitter

Shake, strain into prechilled cocktail coupe.
Garnish with edible flowers dusted in Plum powder.

Monica Berg 4 copy

Ritual Bottle Serve

For this serve I used Sofia Coppola, who just like Tanqueray no Ten comes from a great family legacy. Nevertheless, she chose her own path and through her career as a screen writer and director, she not only excelled but also pushed boundaries with great success. Her movies often have grand themes, but at the end of the day, what they really capture is the relationships and meeting between people.

My serve is a tribute to exactly that – The perfect serve when people meet.

The beauty of the gin and tonic is in the simplicity. It’s one of the few drinks that is loved regardless of generation, gender or nationality, and its also one of those drinks equally loved by people on both sides of the bar. While it’s definitely open for interpretation, a Tanqueray no Ten and Tonic will never be Lost in Translation.


In the top chamber i used different fruit and vegetables that all marries well with the gin, while in the second one I used the different citrus fruits found in Tanqueray no Ten.

Monica Berg 5


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