Stirred But Not Shaken At Los Cristianos Cocktail Competition

There was a whole lot of shaking going on in Los Cristianos as the mixers and shakers of Tenerife’s cocktail crowd gathered outside the cultural centre to find the most creative bar staff from the seven Canary Islands. The hunt was on to find a classic cocktail and the best gin and tonic – my taste buds had been salivating since I first heard of the Arona based Ruta de Cocteles that offered a month of cheap cocktails at selected bars around the area. So there I was lurking in the crowd with a pint glass in one hand and an extendable straw in the other. Normally I wouldn’t be too bothered about cocktails, ever since that film with Tom Cruise beer drinkers have cursed flash young barmen who want to juggle glasses, squirt juices into the air, and generally do anything except pour your damm pint.

There were 50 bar staff dressed to impress but I was pleased to see that several of them were young ladies, they wore slinky black uniforms and I half expected Robert Palmer to join them to sing Addicted To Love. But enough of my daydreams, this was serious business, the mixing bar was at the top of the centre steps and below a panel of experts prepared the fruit and other accessories in full view so no contestants got an unfair advantage. One immaculately dressed gentleman slipped on a pair of tight white gloves, I thought he might be a snooker ref but he set about dissecting a grapefruit like a brain surgeon while his colleagues teased their cherries and caressed their plums.

Backstage tables were loaded with fresh fruit, juices, syrups, whisks, and syringes. Senior officials in blazers checked clipboards and adjusted stop watches as the first contestants took to the stage and poured liquers, rums, and brandies into tall stemmed glasses. I was surprised to see a large bottle of Sunny Delight on one table but not a Nesquick in sight. The first finished creations took their place on the judging table and it was onto the next batch of hopefuls.

With my curiosity satisfied but not my thirst I headed off for a Dorada, maybe I would go wild and have a pineapple chunk in my pint. I did spare a thought for the judges, maybe they would be seen later staggering up the road singing rude ditties about women of dubious backgrounds whilst wearing a traffic cone on their heads.