calendar clock display eur stats uservideo-camera
Other countries
Global website
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United States of America
Skip to main content
Margarita challenge

FAQ: Cointreau Margarita Challenge

Frequently Asked Question

Why should I take part?

Since its creation, 175 years ago, Cointreau has become a mainstay of the world’s best bars and an indispensable ingredient in over 600 iconic drinks, including the Original Margarita invented in 1948. The Cointreau Margarita Challenge is an incredible opportunity for bartenders from all walks of life to contribute their chapter to the story of this legendary liqueur—and take their own bartending careers to the next level in the process.


Who can participate?

The competition is open to all professional bartenders anywhere in the world, even if they are not currently working. If you are currently not employed, you will simply need to let us know the name of the last bar you worked in.

Here is the link to register and participate to the competition:


When will the competition take place?

Key dates are as follows:
- Submissions: October, 2023 through end of March, 2024
- Selection of finalists: beginning of April , 2024
- Grand finale in Angers: May 2024
- Winner announced: Beginning of June, 2024


How is the 2024 competition different from previous years?

  • New Edition, New Theme

This year’s Margarita Challenge celebrates the versatility of the iconic cocktail created in 1948 by Margaret ‘Margarita’ Sames. This year’s participants are asked to reinterpret the Margarita with a city-themed twist: “capture the flavors of your city in a Margarita”. It is an exciting opportunity to showcase the unicity of your city in a delicious and creative way. Bartenders will be able to infuse local ingredients and cultural elements into their Margarita recipes, offering a delightful representation of their city’s essence in every sip.

  • Rookie of The Year

Starting this year, Cointreau is introducing a fresh face to the competition: a rising star with less than 2 years of bartending experience. Despite being a newcomer, his/hers passion, dedication, and creativity have already brought him or her to this exciting experience. As they step onto the stage alongside seasoned professionals, we offer them a chance to explore the exhilarating world of competitions, unleash their imagination and leave a mark with their unique recipe. And it’s not only about showcasing skills, but also about embracing creativity and becoming a part of a vibrant community.

This initiative is a proof of Cointreau’s commitment to nurture the talents of tomorrow and support the bright future of bartending. Let’s cheers on this budding talent as it makes his/her mark in the world of bartending.


Who is on the jury?

This year, the participants advancing to the final in France will be evaluated by a prestigious panel comprised of internationally renowned leading bartenders, all of whom hold positions within the World’s 50 Best Bars Awards:

  • Lola Liu, 2023 Margarita Challenge Winner, World’s 50 Best Bars awardee
  • Rory J. Shepherd, ex-Creative Director of The Little Red Door, World’s 50 Best Bars awardee
  • Patrick Pistolesi, owner of Drink Kong Bar, World’s 50 Best Bars awardee
  • TBD


How will the final work?

Once the submission period has ended, 10 finalists will be chosen and flown to France for three days of immersive visits and mixology challenges, culminating in a final hosted at Cointreau’s historic mansion in Angers, where the story began. There, after 3 rounds of challenges the best three participants will be selected, and the first-place winner crowned.


What’s the grand prize?

The grand prize winner will walk away with an additional trip for two to France and a sponsor budget which will allow them to take off on a tour to promote their own creative take on the Original Margarita in the best cocktails bars selected by Cointreau.


Can I submit two drinks?

Only one recipe submission will be accepted per participant: We want only your absolute best.


Can two or more bartenders from the same bar take part in the competition?

Yes! As long as each participant only submits one drink.


Can I use another liqueur in addition to Cointreau?

Yes, just as long as it’s not a triple sec or an orange liqueur.


Do I need to have my drink photographed by a professional?

While it’s true that the jury will take each drink’s presentation into account, a professionally-shot photograph is by no means required. We expect you to get creative and that your drink, staging & picture express the theme at its best.


Can I submit my recipe in a language other than English?

The Cointreau Margarita Challenge is an international competition that brings together participants from all around the world. As a result, we ask that all recipes be submitted (and if selected, presented to the jury) in English.


Are there any mandatory ingredients to include?

Only two: At least 20ml of Cointreau l’Unique and salt. The rest of the recipe is entirely up to each participant, but all the other ingredients you use for this edition, must be local & representative of your city.

What are the selection criteria?

Skills & Techniques (40%): We want to see the competitors getting creative while working with local products. Use as much homemade ingredients as possible & explain in detail the skills & techniques used to create the drink.

Ingredients (30%): At least 25ml or 0.75oz of Cointreau l’Unique and salt are the only mandatory ingredients. The rest will be determined by each participant’s creativity, but all the other ingredients must be local.

Storytelling (20%): Every iconic drink has its origin story, a legend that brings it to life. Participants should come up with an evocative name and a vivid story that takes the jury on a sensory voyage as much as their recipe does.

Quality of your picture (10%): Tasting begins not with the first sip, but with the first glance. Each cocktail’s visual presentation as well as the photo provided of it will factor into the jury’s decision. The overall result and how it fits the theme will be judged.


Will I receive feedback on my submission?

Due to the volume of entries expected, the jury will not be able to provide feedback to each individual participant. Only finalists will have the opportunity to discuss their creations with the judges.


We don’t have Cointreau in our bar: Will this be counted against me?

No, you can still participate regardless. That said, given how many iconic cocktails include Cointreau, what are you doing without it?


Do I have to salt the rim?

Salt is a mandatory ingredient, but you’re free to use it any way you like.


Can I use any glassware?

Of course! Use whatever glass feels most appropriate for your recipe and that you consider it fits best with the given theme.


Can our bar attend as a team?

Sounds fun—but no! The competition is about highlighting individual talent and creativity: It’s one drink per bartender, and one bartender per drink.


Can I share my entry on social media?

Sure, but likes and social media attention are not part of the selection criteria and will not be considered by the jury. If you do post, we kindly ask you to use our official hashtag #MargaritaChallenge and tag us @Cointreau


Should I make ingredients from scratch?

It is highly recommended. Creating your own infusion, syrup, cordial, soda, and so on gives you more control over each flavor—and often leads to a higher-quality drink. Last but not least, using homemade ingredients it’s a proof of you mastering the needed skills and techniques, a criterion for the competition.


Can I use Cointreau Noir?

No. As the competition is an ode to classic cocktails, you must use Cointreau l’Unique—the one, the only, the icon.

For any question contact us at

Throwback to our previous editions