Mayahuel’s Gift – Horace Buckenham’s winning cocktail for Hacha Bar’s Britain’s Best Tequila and Best Mezcal Cocktails 2021 competition
50ml Cacao Butter Washed Illegal Mezcal
20ml Champagne Fig Cordial
Add each ingredient into a rocks glass and stir.
Garnish with a fig slice.
About the drink
Mayahuel’s Gift was created by Horace Buckenham for Britain’s Best Tequila and Best Mezcal Cocktails 2021 competition ran by Hacha Bar in London.
We caught up with Horace to talk about his winning entry:
What is the inspiration for Mayahuel’s Gift?
The drink is inspired by the Aztec story of the birth of agave plants and the forbidden love shared my Mayahuel and Ehecatl “The Snake God of The Wind.”
All ingredients were chosen due to folklore and mythology linking them all to love and passion.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m originally from Norfolk, slowly meandered around the South coast and finally settled here in Bristol about 3 and a half years ago.
I spend most of my time surrounded by delicious beverages, normally an agave based spirit/cocktail, and food. Outside of food and drink you’ll probably find me upset at the latest Norwich City score.
How did you get into the drinks industry?
I was studying engineering at the University of Brighton and I started working in Hotel du Vin as a way to earn some extra money.
Gradually found myself asking for more hours and then avoiding lectures as I’d rather go do a shift there.
Finally I decided to leave uni behind prematurely to ultimately focus on a career in spirits. I left Brighton behind went to work at Gravetye Manor in Sussex and there I really knuckled down and became obsessed with the whole industry.
Haven’t looked back or even remotely considered leaving the drinks industry behind.
You work at Bank Bristol – tell us a bit about what you do there
BANK only just opened in mid-June and I came on board as the owner was looking to assemble a team of passionate people. Found me via Linked In and Instagram and brought me in originally as a member of the FOH team.
Since then I’ve been promoted to Head Bartender and I am starting to take control of the cocktail menu, which is an ever changing list of 8 cocktails and 3 non-alcoholic cocktails. Constant creativity is required which is equal parts fun and challenging.
Other parts of my role centre on selecting the spirits we stock, efficiency of the bar and training the rest of the team (another passion of mine).
What made you want to enter cocktail competitions?
Firstly, I’m a competitive person. I enjoy competition, personally I think it’s the best way to improve yourself. Secondly, its the creativity that comes from the briefs set forward.
Working to a brief that can sometimes be quite open-ended and interpreting it in what ever way you see fit is incredibly fun.
Also, it is usually without the constraints of worrying about prep times and GP percentages! It’s creativity at its purest. Realising your idea is great, but to also see how others went about fulfilling the brief it is always incredible.
What is your advice for people looking to get into creating their own cocktail recipes?
Experiment lots. Taste lots. Know what each element of your cocktail tastes like on its own.
I love creating cocktails to suit a theme, find a flavour that you think encapsulates that theme and build a drink around it using elements that you believe compliment and enhance it.
Get your people to try it, get as much feedback as you can.
But most importantly, back yourself, believe in your own palate and don’t forget to write down the recipe.
What other projects do you have in the pipeline for future?
Professionally to continue at BANK and make it the best it can possibly be. Just getting started in my new role so looking forward to putting my first menu out there.
I have my own website that I publish tasting notes and review of spirits called, The Spirit Somm, which has taken a back seat recently so I’m planning on get that restarted soon.
And unsurprisingly to those that know me, I’m already planning on entering another cocktail competition, Ocho Take Me To Mexico. I never sit still for long.
You can find more of Horace’s cocktail creations over on Instagram @hb_drinks