Japan bartender triumphs in IBA WCC 2016

24th October, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

Japan’s Kenji Tsubokura has been crowned winner of the International Bartenders Association’s World Cocktail Championships 2016 following a close final in Tokyo.

Kenji Tsubokura (second from right) triumphed in the 65th World Cocktail Championships

Kenji Tsubokura (second from right) triumphed in the 65th World Cocktail Championships

Tsubokura impressed a panel of judges during the Super Final of the competition last Thursday (20 October) after winning the Short Drink (Sour) Competition round.

His cocktail, called The Best Scene, contained Geranium Premium London Dry Gin, Giffard Elderflower Liqueur, Monin Yuzu Fruit Pureé, fresh lemon juice and one dash of Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters.

“I practised my cocktail many, many times for this competition and also took English lessons to improve my presentation,” said Tsubokura, who is a member of the Nippon Bartenders Association.

“I am very shocked and happy to win, especially in my home country. The NBA and IBA have given me a great experience as a bartender.”

Ron Busman, president of the IBA and one of the Super Final judges, added: “Kenji demonstrated typical Japanese hospitality in his presentation and his cocktail garnish was awesome – it was so delicate.

“The harmony of the drink was very good, and the combination of its look and taste were brilliant. Kenji is a very deserving winner.”

Tsubokura faced competition from five other round-winning bartenders in the Super Final. They included: the UK’s Lucia Montanelli, who won the Sparkling Cocktail round; Serbia’s Milos Janosevic, who won the Bartender’s Choice round; South Korea’s Min Hong Kim, who won the Long Drink round, Finland’s Markus Sillanpää, who won the After Dinner Cocktail round; and Poland’s Marek Posluszny, who won the Flairtending Competition.

Next year’s IBA WCC will take place in Denmark, hosted by the Danish Bartenders Guild.

For a more in-depth look at the IBA WCC 2016 in Tokyo, Japan, see the November issue of The Spirits Business magazine, out soon.

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