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Ty Nicole Tucker wins cocktail competition with a $30,000 brand ambassador contract.

Ty Nicole Tucker

Ty Nicole Tucker started bartending as a hobby. The Upper Westside resident was bored at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and started playing with syrups and the craftier elements of bartending. She took classic recipes and tweaked them, such as when she made rosemary syrup for a Cosmopolitan. Her passion grew as she found an audience on Instagram Live and eventually got a job bartending at Politan Row.

Today, she operates a boutique mixology company with branded syrups called SoMixxy. She has a team of 15 contract bartenders and managers for mobile mixology and hosts classes and events like Canvas & Cocktails with local artists and Wax & Sip with candlemakers. She recently won the Lobos 1707 Bestin- Class Cocktail Challenge to become an ambassador for the tequila and mezcal brand with a $30,000 contract. She will curate mixology recipes for the brand and showcase them at festivals and events.

To qualify, Tucker had to design two cocktails and describe the ingredients, process, garnish and glassware. After she was chosen as one of the top 12 contestants, she had to submit a five-minute video showcasing her cocktails and explaining why she’d be the best brand ambassador. The top five were invited to participate in a live competition in November.

“I was so excited! Everything happened so quickly. It was a two-week span between submitting the application and going to Kentucky,” she says. “The competition was surreal. I’m glad I pushed myself to do it and that other people saw something in me.”

At the competition, Tucker and her opponents created, presented and served cocktails, and were judged on creativity, storytelling, taste and ease of execution. Named the “People’s Choice” winner, Tucker’s cocktail is called The Holy Mole, comprised of Lobos 1707 Mezcal, ancho-chili demerara syrup, apricot preserves, lemon juice and barrel-aged chocolate bitters, all garnished with a plantain chip, apricot preserve and a sprinkle of Tajin seasoning.

How did you come up with your competition-winning cocktail?

I wanted to recreate the flavors of mole, so I made a syrup with the peppers used in mole and added chocolate bitters to play with the spice. I wanted to pay homage to my grandmother, so I added the apricot preserve. She would always eat it in the morning while watching her favorite soap opera and drinking tea.

How have you seen the Atlanta cocktail scene evolve?

Initially, bartenders weren’t getting as much recognition. Now, shows like “Drink Masters” are having an impact. More bartenders are getting into the craft side instead of pouring Hennessy and Cokes or tequila and sodas. Places with a speakeasy vibe such as The James Room and JoJo’s Beloved have opened that have a craft cocktail edge. Plus, there are more educational events throughout the city for the community of bartenders to learn and talk about our experiences and lessons learned.

What’s your secret to composing a stellar cocktail?

I think about the season and the theme, as well as the brand. I think about things that inspire me in relation to the brand. With Lobos, the tradition and legacy made me think about family values and my grandmothers.

What’s your drink of choice?

A Mezcal Last Word [mezcal, green chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, lime juice]. I’m looking forward to using Lobos mezcal in one.


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