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For most of us, Saturday night is synonymous with friends, bar hopping, mixed drinks, and lots of laughs. But for Toronto's bartenders, the weekend is a different story.

Marta Sobiesiak is one of many Toronto bartenders who find it difficult to stay in shape while dealing with the late-night lifestyle. Long hours and busy shifts can make working out and eating healthy nearly impossible, and in the city, local bartenders face these challenges every day. Bartender Boxing Organization and Tequila Cazadores are looking to change that. 

Bartender Boxing Organization presents Bar Spar, sponsored by Tequila Cazadores, which is a program that aims to improve the lives of bartenders by promoting health and well-being in the industry through the sport of boxing. 

Cazadores is a premium tequila that punches above its weight, which is why they’re encouraging local bartenders to do the same through boxing with #nocheapshots.

According to Marta, "My lifestyle as a bartender is a hectic one. The hours are long… our bar is so small that there can only be one bartender to handle the entirety of service that runs until 2 AM. Shifts end up being around 11 hours long and returning home around 4 AM on busy nights isn't uncommon."

The rigorous training program allows selected Toronto bartenders to go on an epic journey for 90 days, focusing on how they eat, drink, sleep, work, and most importantly, train. Then, on the final night, they give up their mixologist title to fight as trained boxers, with the winner claiming hometown bragging rights.

Bartender Ryley Norman is eager to participate in the fight, especially since he's "always had a soft spot for Tequila Cazadores" as it's such a crowd pleaser. In fact, he says most of his customers go crazy for Cazadores Reposado: "It's easy on the pocket book, sippable, a smooth shooter [...] and great in cocktails."

The next fight night will be on October 7, when local bartenders will step out from behind the bar and into the ring. And Marta Sobiesiak will be ready: "I will be forever grateful to Bar Spar and Tequila Cazadores [for bringing this new passion into my life]. I'm very excited for the final fight on the 7th. Of course, I’m a little nervous but all I can do is stay focused, in the moment, and try to remember the invaluable things my trainers taught me over the last three months. I did this with my physical health in mind — winning would simply be a cherry on top!"

Out of gratitude for the opportunity, Marta’s been featuring a Cazadores cocktail — Cassavetes — at her bar for weeks. “It’s a great tequila at a fair price. If you’re looking to drink less but better, Tequila Cazadores is for you.” Similar to Tequila Cazadores, it’s about having pride in your end result. By choosing to be a part of this program, bartenders like Marta are taking pride in themselves, their peers, and proudly representing their city.

To cheer on your local bartender, head to the Phoenix Concert Theater (410 Sherbourne St, Toronto) on Monday, October 7 at 7:00 PM. The event is free.

If you can't make it to the match, keep the spirit going at home and make this low-calorie Hermosa Paloma cocktail featuring Tequila Cazadores instead:

  • 1 part Tequila Cazadores blanco
  • 1/4 part St-Germain
  • 1/4 fresh lime juice
  • 3 parts sparkling water

Combine all the ingredients, except the sparkling water, in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Pour into a highball glass over fresh ice. Top with the sparkling water, garnish with two cucumber slices, and enjoy!

No cheap shots here. Tequila Cazadores has been making their 100% agave tequila in Los Altos de Jalisco using the same recipe for almost 100 years. 

To learn more about the match, visit the Bar Spar website. To know more about Tequila Cazadores, check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook!