Official Rules and Regulations
Courtesy of and USBG Presents: Road to the Hacienda Challenge Sponsored by Tequila Herradura

Official Rules and Regulations


Bartenders are invited to test their luck (and skill with the spirit) for the chance to win a one-of-a-kind experience at the last true tequila-producing hacienda on the planet. Bartenders will need to watch a video, take a quiz and submit their local twist on the Horseshoe Margarita recipe at

Participating Regions:

San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Miami, FL


  • and USBG will send 16 bartenders to compete in the Finale at Casa Herradura Distillery in Mexico. The anticipated retail value for this trip is $1500.
    • 4 Days 3 nights in Mexico during April 2017
    • Hotel and Airfare provided by USBG and
    • Finale winners will be notified 3-4 weeks prior to the Finale date

  • The winner of the Finale at Casa Herradura will receive the following:
    • San Francisco Tequila Experience + Video Shoot Trip (ARV $3000)
      • Round trip coach Airfare
      • 4 Nights Lodging in San Francisco (standard room/double occupancy)
      • Food/Beverage Stipend
      • Industry Education Evening with Julio Bermejo
      • Mentorship Day with Julio Bermejo
      • One night exploring culinary adventures in town
    • Video shoot for the winner ($1000)
      • Branded video to highlight Julio Bermejo/SF/Herradura program experience focusing on the experience, tequila dialogue, winning cocktail and learnings from the Herradura program will execute all travel arrangements for the 16 competitors and judges.

Taxes are the sole responsibility of prize winners. No substitution/transfer of prize permitted. Prize winners are responsible for all necessary travel documents, including but not limited to passports. Alcohol is not part of any prize.


  • November 2, 2016 12:00:01 a.m. PST – December 16, 2016 11:59:59 p.m. 2016 PST: Open for online recipe submissions
  • Jan/Feb 2017: Regional judging period
  • April 2017: Casa Herradura Distillery Trip & Finale

General Rules:

  • This program is open to all working professional bartenders in participating competition markets listed above and USBG members that are not employed by liquor companies or distributors as full time employees.
  • Competitors must be at least 21 years of age
  • Competitors must be legal United States Residents, residing in one of the participating regions. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary.


By entering this program, you are giving Tequila Herradura,, USBG and its affiliates explicit rights to the image of your drink, drink recipe name, and your drink recipe for publicity purposes, including but not limited to: press, social media, digital activation and promotional activation.

Selection Process:

Phase 1 - Online entries:

For the purposes of determining the Regional finalists, entries will be assigned to the closest applicable market, as determined by the and USBG. All complete entries submitted to within the entry timeframe will be judged against the below criteria based on the perceived qualities of the written recipes and essay entry.

Judges will not take into consideration current employer or any other personal information in the selection of Regional finalists.

Judging Criteria (Online Entries)

Initial scores will be based on the judges’ interpretation of the written description submitted. In some cases, judges may recreate the cocktails to settle closely ranked submissions.

Scoring Criteria:

Original Horseshoe Margarita:

  • Taste and Balance __/ 10 pts.
  • Visual appeal __/ 4 pts.
  • Clear understanding of the classic Horseshoe Margarita in the creation of this cocktail __/ 8 pts.
  • Creativity and ability to incorporate local (or original) ingredients in a meaningful way __/ 8 pts.

*Note: for live events we will incorporate skill, technique and presentation categories

Inspiration (written)

  • Tell us about the inspiration behind your recipe (350 words or less) __/ 5 pts.

Cocktail Entry Total: __/ 35 pts.

Educational Quiz:

  • Bartenders will take an educational quiz (based on the custom videos) that will test their knowledge on tequila as a category as well as Herradura specifically.
    • Quiz: 15 pts. available based on final score

Total available points: 50 pts.

Scores will not be shared with contestants at any stage of the competition.

Phase 2 - Regional Events:

For the purposes of selecting Semi-Finalists, regional events will be judged by local panels, as determined by USBG with the assistance of The regional competition rules and judging criteria will be created by, and will be shared with all regional participants prior to the regional competitions.

Phase 3 - Final

A total of 16 Finalists will be selected from the regional event winners and will compete at the Casa Herradura Finale in Mexico. For the purposes of selecting the winner, a panel of well-respected industry experts selected by and USBG will judge the competition. Rules and judging criteria will be created by and USBG and will be shared with all Finalists a minimum of 3-4 weeks prior to the Final competition. These will be a variation of the criteria outlined above.

Guidelines and Requirements:

  • Recipes must be original. An original recipe is the product of one's own mind and is not a copy or imitation.
  • Tequila Herradura Reposado, Tequila Herradura Silver, or Tequila Herradura Añejo must be listed as the primary ingredient in your Horseshoe Margarita recipe.
  • All recipes must conform to any legal regulations.
  • All recipes must be stated in parts and not ounces. Drops and dashes are allowed.
  • Recipes must not exceed 7 ingredients including drops, dashes (This does not include garnish, sprays or citrus zests)
  • Limit one entry per person/email address.

Any entries attempted through the use of agencies or robotic, repetitive, automatic, programmed or similar methods will be void. Any attempt by a person to use multiple email accounts or identities to gain more entries than permitted by these Official Rules shall result in disqualification at the sole discretion of and USBG. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the “authorized account holder” associated with the email address at the time of entry, which must comply with these Official Rules. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned an e-mail address by the service provider or other organization that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses. Potential winners may be required to provide evidence (to’s and USBG’s satisfaction) that they are the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with a winning entry. In the event a dispute regarding the identity of the person who actually submitted an entry cannot be resolved to’s and USBG’s satisfaction, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible. Entries and other submitted material become the property of Tequila Herradura and will not be acknowledged or returned. Refer to Additional rules below for more details regarding the requirements for your entry.

Additional Requirements for Entry:

Entries must be in English. Entries must not allude to the overconsumption or irresponsible consumption of beverage alcohol. Entries that do not include all required information and do not adhere to the foregoing and following requirements will be considered void and will not be considered in the judging of this contest. Entries that are deemed by and USBG in their sole discretion to be illegal, obscene, profane or not in keeping with and USBG’s images will be disqualified.

Entry Requirements:

By submitting an entry, you warrant that:

  • You are the creator of the entry
  • The entry is wholly original
  • The entry does not infringe the intellectual property, privacy or publicity rights or any other legal or moral rights of any third party, including any current or former employer, and does not defame any person or identify any person by name other identifying information
  • The entry has not previously been entered in any other contest
  • The Entry has not been previously published in any
  • The entry does not violate any law or regulation
  • Sponsor's determination as to whether any entry potentially violates the rights of any third party is final.


Employees of Brown-Forman,, USBG, their affiliates, liquor wholesale licensees, as well as advertising/promotion agencies and their immediate family members and household members of each and retail license holders are not eligible. This promotion is void wherever prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. In the event that the contest is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, and USBG reserves the right to discontinue or modify the Contest, or to disqualify participants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, and USBG shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. You must be at least 21 years of age to be eligible. Contest void wherever prohibited or restricted by law.

By accepting a prize, any winner: (a) releases Brown-Forman/ and their affiliated companies and licensed alcohol wholesalers and retailers from any/all liability claims, action or proceedings arising out of or for injuries or damages sustained while involved in any promotion activity or connection with the use of the prizes; as well as (b) consents to the use by Brown-Forman/ for promotional purposes in connection with this promotion, of his or her name and/or likeness and/or voice without further compensation where permitted. Winner must sign an affidavit of eligibility and liability release. A 1099 will be issued., USBG, Brown-Forman and participating promotional companies are not in any way liable for damage, loss or injury resulting from computer malfunctions, misdirected or incomplete entries or acceptance and use of the prize. reserves the right in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this contest should virus, bugs or other causes beyond the control of the contest entities corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the contest. and USBG reserve the right at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel terminate or suspend the contest. and USBG assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communication line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. CAUTION: Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the game is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such attempt.

Entrants will be automatically opted-in to receive messages from (Entrants may unsubscribe from list at any time.)

I acknowledge that I have read and understand the rules & regulations pertaining to and USBG Presents: Road to the Hacienda Challenge Sponsored by Tequila Herradura.



For a list of prize winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:, 1263 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Do NOT send entries to this address.

Tequila Herradura is a registered trademark used with permission.

Enjoy Tequila Herradura Responsibly.

Privacy Policy

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Signature Cocktail Competition

  1. This is a spirit on spirit cocktail, with famous brand serving as the base spirit. No muddled fruit, juices and or syrups should be used in making a Signature. Fruits, herbs, essences and spices may be used in infusions however.
  2. Modifiers such as fortified wines, bitters, tinctures, infusions and citrus oils are acceptable variables in a Signature cocktail.
  3. The ratio of modifier(s) to base spirit (famous brand) should never exceed 50:50. The cocktail should be not exceed 3.5 oz.
  4. The Signatures' traditional garnishes are a citrus twist or olives. Cocktail onions are also an acceptable garnish. When thinking of new garnishes, let your imagination run wild.
  5. The cocktail can be served up or on the rocks. In addition, it may be stirred or shaken. Glassware and presentation are up to the contestants.

Judging Criteria

  1. Relevance to the Signature cocktail (20 points)
  2. Presentation and Appearance (20 points)
  3. Taste and Balance (30 points)
  4. elit Brand Awareness (20 points)
  5. Cocktail Name and Inspiration (10 points)

Discover the Classic
Horse Margarita

Enter your Original Horseshoe Margarita recipe. This cocktail should show a clear understanding of the structure of the classic Horseshoe Margarita, while also incorporating unique elements that express a sense of place that reflect your: Bar/venue, home market and/OR where you are from originally. This iteration of the classic can show any of these types of localized influences and should tell a story of what you are looking to express.

This cocktail should be thoughtfully done, pay homage to its origins both past (in the original) and present (in the locally influenced version).

16 bartenders traveled to historic Casa Herradura to make—and experience—history as the first bartenders to glamp and compete on distillery grounds, but only one could leave the hacienda a champion.

Chicago’s own Egor Polonskiy separated from the pack, and became the first winner of the Road to the Hacienda Challenge.

The 2017 Winner

Chicago, IL
Chicago Fire
Chicago is known to be the city of mobsters during prohibition. Countries most wanted used to settle here. Gun shots and illegal operations were heard from south side to "Irish" north side during 1920s. This cocktail is inspired by Chicago of that era.

Competition Regions

Want to know more about
Tequila Herradura

Meet the Judges

Ivy Mix

Ivy Mix is Co-Owner and Head Bartender at a pan-Latin cocktail bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. She also co-founded Speed Rack, an all female cocktail competition that raises money for breast cancer.

Julio Bermejo

It’s easy to see why CNIT and the Governor of Jalisco named Julio Bermejo the Ambassador of Tequila to the US. As the beverage manager and co-owner of a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, he revolutionized the margarita and amassed an unbeatable tequila selection.

Kevin Vanegas

Featured in USA Today as a distinguished Tequila Sommelier, Kevin has traveled the world educating people about the history, craft and versatility of tequila. He currently serves as Casa Herradura’s National Tequila Ambassador.

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Road to the Hacienda
challenge with your friends