Image: Iulian Dragomir/Shutterstock

If you know anything about Chivas, you won’t need us to tell you that this is a brand that prides itself on quality above all else. From the calibre of its partners (think sleek, chic, heritage companies including Pininfarina, the Savile Row Association and Bremont watches, to name but a few), through to the finesse of its luscious Signature Serves –  every teeny weeny detail counts. So it’s little wonder why its Chivas Masters Global Finals should follow suit.

This year like the two preceding it, the team have gone above and beyond to ensure this stage of the competition is an unforgettable experience for everyone taking part. There’s the destination for starters… Hello! We’re talking Shanghai, only one of the most vibrant cities in the whole wide world. If you’re thinking that you’ve never heard of a global cocktail competition taking place in China’s largest and most prosperous city before, you’d be absolutely right. This is the first time a major spirits brand has brought a contest of this level to this part of the world. And as befits such a momentous occasion, Chivas Global Brand Ambassador Max Warner and co. have pulled out all the stops to ensure the city’s sights, cocktail scene and exceptional bartending talents are imprinted on the global map. Respect!

There will be bar tours, ‘getting to know you’ city experiences and succumbing to the delights of the exceptional cuisine. Fun, yes but at the heart of it all will be the competition itself. With good reason. The 15 finalists for 2016 have already demonstrated their dedication and commitment to their craft by getting to Shanghai in the first place. However, they may not know it yet, but they’ll each emerge from the competition as more rounded, deeply enriched bartenders. Here’s why: during the four-day event they’ll go through a series of workshops and challenges carefully curated to test their ability to lead, mentor and inspire a team.

Image: DK Arts/Shutterstock

Chivas Masters 2016 is not about a single winner, it’s been purposely designed to test the finalists’ ability to build a winning crew. Intrigued? You should be. Trust us, this is going to something you’ll definitely want to read about.

Putting the competitors through their paces will be a stellar panel of industry experts. For proof of how good they are, you’ll find every single one of them making a genius-sized dent on the recently announced Top 10 of the Spirited Awards list. There’s Leo Robitschek, bar director of Madison Park and The NoMad Hotel Bar (nominated for Best American Bar Team – NoMad, and Best American Cocktail Bar – NoMad); Naren Young, head bartender at Dante NYC and drinks author (nominated for Best New American Cocktail Bar – Dante, and Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer); Dre Masso, renowned for sprinkling his own brand of magic on some of the best bars in London and Asia (nominated for Best International Bar Mentor, and Best International High Volume Bar – Potato Head), as well as Chris Lowder (nominated for International Bartender of the Year, and Best New International Cocktail Bar – Charles H). Joining the party will be last year’s Chivas Masters winner, Josh Reynolds (nominated for Best International Restaurant Bar – Hawksmoor Spitalfields) and Masa Urushido, Chivas Masters 2014 winner (nominated for Best American Restaurant Bar – Saxone & Parole). Like we said, for Chivas quality is always key.

Having judged all 15 finals and being charged with devising the challenges, Max Warner will be leading the proceedings (and let’s not forget the fact that he’s been nominated for Best International Brand Ambassador for his tireless contributions to propelling an already great brand into a league of its own).  We’re extremely honoured and excited to say we’ll be there too (ahem, nominated for Best Cocktails & Spirits Publication and Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer if you don’t mind).

We’ll be documenting everything – from the sights and sounds of Shanghai and its bars and bartenders, as well as highlighting the challenges from the competition which will herald not just a winner but a winning team who will go on to become the Chivas Masters Collective at Tales of the Cocktail in July.

Want to know more? Why wouldn’t you? We’ll be revealing all the details as well as interviewing the fab line-up of judges. Don’t miss out. Follow all the action from Saturday 18th June at:

#ChivasMasters

For now though, give it up for the Chivas Masters 2016 Global Finalists:

Yao Lu – The Union Trading Company, China
Renier Ernesto Rodriguez – Meliá Cohiba, Cuba
Tomás Melzer – Hemingway Bar, Czech Republic
Aurélie Panhelieux – CopperBay, France
Lukas Motejzik – Herzog – Germany
Stefanos Draganidakis – The Trap, Greece
Dave Lam – Quinary, Hong Kong
Mor Koral – 223, Israel
Naoya Mizugishi – Fujiya & Miyagi, Japan
Alex Millan – Ponce de Léon, Mexico
Stanislaw Domin – Kawiarnia Literatka, Poland
Santi Ortiz – Ohla Barcelona, Spain
Johan Blaauw – Cape Grace Hotel, South Africa
Chelsie Bailey – The Rummer Hotel, UK
Ben Rojo – Angel’s Share, USA

 

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