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Mauricio Allende 

For Maestro 51’s Drinks Master Mauricio Allende less is more – When making a cocktail, the quality of the ingredients plays a crucial role alongside the recipe and technique

Mauricio Allende has more than fourteen years of experience in food and beverage. He was born in Mexico and his journey has taken him to many continents, from Mexico to Canada, from Canada to Finland, from Finland to Singapore and from Singapore back to Finland.

Mauricio’s unique approach to flavors and drink mixes have been noticed not only in Finland but also worldwide. While winning international cocktail competitions is a great honor and joy, the charismatic and warm Mauricio keeps his feet firmly on the ground. It has been a long but rewarding journey from a young who worked as a blocker while studying without Finnish language skills, to a confident and respected professional in his field.

“In my job, I feel it is particularly important to have the opportunity to introduce others to the Mexican food and drink culture. My job is not to teach or educate, but rather to encourage people to try something new. Different nuances are fascinating, whether they are found on a plate, in cocktails or even in communication between people. Diversity is beautiful – and good for us!”

Authentic flavors around the world meet Nordic cuisine

Mauricio’s enchanting hometown of Puebla is located in a valley, surrounded by volcanoes and snow-capped mountains at over 2,000 meters above sea level. The local culture is deeply rooted in the heart of Mauricio, strongly reflected in its relationship with food and drink. Matching the grandiose flavors of Latin with the more restrained profile of the North may not be the easiest task, but Mauricio is all the more passionate about it.

Traveling around the world, Mauricio’s sense of taste is built to be exceptionally extensive. When working with drinks, he knows through experience almost certainly what one will taste like. Technology comes naturally to Mauricio, so creativity is the most important tool.

“I am the botanist of my own life. I have a particularly deep relationship with agave – after all, it’s the raw material for agave-based drinks such as tequila and mezcal. There are also numerous other interesting spirits made from agave in Mexico, but the most familiar to Finns is surely tequila.”

Passion and pride

Mauricio has been involved in curating the food and drink menus of numerous restaurants. The job can be from creative design to the commercialization of a product or concept, Mauricio, who has a strong entrepreneurial background, speaks with particular passion about the importance of branding.

“I joined Casa Elemental’s founding team in 2017. The company’s market is primarily focused on Asia and Europe, and although official sales of the products began in the difficult year of 2020, we still managed to achieve a fourfold increase in profit compared to the first distribution round. The brand is based on the joy of co-creation of diverse, authentic and singular agave and sugar cane spirits in Mexico. Sharing enjoyment and tapping into the know-how of local small producers build together Elemental’s warm and authentic brand.”

In addition to Casa Elemental, Mauricio spent six years at Kyrö Distillery Company. He was honored to work as a brand ambassador for this internationally acclaimed Finnish distillery. Kyrö provided Mauricio a wide job description which included for instance the brand maintenance and development. Mauricio also engaged in training for industry professionals as well as consumers and he worked very closely with distributor interbrands in this sales-oriented position. While working at Kyrö, Mauricio did not only meet the sales targets, but even exceeded them during 2020, when a corona-colored reality challenged the whole industry in an unprecedented way.

Although there has been good luck and great achievements on Mauricio’s path, adversity has not been avoided. Unfortunately Mauricio got a corona infection and lost his senses completely. Both went away for six months, the ability to taste and the ability to smell. The characteristic positive attitude persisted despite a lousy coincidence and Mauricio took a little challenge: reprogram the senses and let this provide some new insights. Mixing a cocktail is an organic process and this was an interesting opportunity to retrain and develop something unusual.

Now a days, besides being a founding member of Casa Elemental, Mauricio is also in charge of the spirits portfolio for industry disruptor Collusion Wine Group based in Helsinki, Finland. Collusion has an extensive and well curated selection of fine wines and spirits from around the world and it is a service-oriented distributor working with the top bars, restaurants and hotels in Finland.

Who is Mauricio Allende? 

An internationally acclaimed food and beverage culture professional with Mexican roots who serves as a bartender and a responsible person for the cocktail profile of Latin Bistro & Bar Maesto 51.