The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Edwin Castillo’s Don Julio A La Perfeccion

Edwin Castillo represented the Dominican Republic at the World Class Bartender of the Year competition, 2013.

Wines & Spirits Boutique is part bar, part bodega and part boutique in the centre of Santo Domingo that has been open for two years. It’s a smart, sophisticated venue, where the concept of pairing food with drinks holds sway. It occupies a large white villa and is subdivided into a retail space and a social/entertaining space. It’s light and airy, and also has a terrace on which you can unwind with delicious cocktails and their coupled tapas-style treats.

The Bartender

Edwin Castillo Peguero, 31, moved into bartending six years ago, having already trained as a sommelier. He polished his cocktail craftsmanship behind the bar of the Hilton Santo Domingo and has been at Wines & Spirits since it opened. He loves using produce from the island, especially passion fruit, oranges, coconut and sugar cane juice and crafts his cocktails in the relaxed bar area of the venue, also acting as sommelier – it seems a perfect place for him to utilize both prongs of his career.

The Drink

‘The Don Julio a la Perfeccion is a drink that highlights the full-flavoured Don Julio. This prime tequila is made from 100 percent blue agave, harvested from mature plants (grown for up to thirteen years) in the Jalisco highlands, steam cooked, double distilled and aged for up to five years in white-oak barrels and crafted to mellow maturity. It was made for a customer who is a big fan of Don Julio: ‘We chatted and I was inspired to make this cocktail for this guest at that moment,’ Edwin explains, ‘When he tasted it he said it was perfection, hence the name.’

The Technique

Don Julio Blanco • 45ml
Fresh red Tonga juice • 15ml
Grand Marnier • 10ml
Fresh jalapeño pepper juice • 5ml
Smoked thyme to garnish
Contains 21 grams of alcohol per serve

Make a hot steam infusion of the Grand Marnier, Tonga juice and the jalapeño pepper juice and allow to infuse for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and place with the other ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Double strain into a chilled Martini glass. Serve on a bed of crushed ice and garnish with the smoked thyme.

The Don Julio a la Perfeccion is an ideal drink for summer, due to its freshness and citrusy tastes, alongside the crispness of the tequila. The terrace is a good place to unwind on a warm evening, pairing the drink with tasty tapas such as jalapeño peppers stuffed with smoked salmon.

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Edwin’s Insider’s Guide to Santo Domingo

Place to stay
Courtyard Marriot hotel

Place to eat
La Cocina restaurant

Place to relax
Sol y Sombra Bar, Hilton hotel

Place to shop
Blue Mall

Place to visit
Museo de Arte Moderno

Place to see
Zona Colonial