Frenchman wins Havana Cocktail Grand Prix

19th June, 2012 by Becky Paskin

French bartender Julien Escot of Montpellier’s Papa Doble bar has been named the winner of the 2012 Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix at the final held in Cuba last week.

Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix finalists Chris Hysted, Julien Escot and Ryan Chetiyawardana

Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix 2012 finalists Chris Hysted, Julien Escot and Ryan Chetiyawardana

Escot beat competition from 40 of the world’s leading bartenders during the four-day event, in which his ‘6 de la Tarde en Habana’ (Havana at 6pm) cocktail impressed judges in the final.

Ryan Chetiyawardana from The Worship Street Whistling Shop in London and Chris Hysted from The Black Pearl Bar in Melbourne also made it through to the final round, in which all three were tasked with creating a cocktail from a box of mystery ingredients, including guava, orange, grapes, Cuban basil and peach bitters.

The finalists were marked by judges on the taste and creativity of their cocktails, as well as their style and professionalism of the Cuban bartender while serving them.

Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne, managing director of Havana Club International SA, said: “The 9th Havana Club Grand Prix has attracted some of the world’s best bartenders. Their cocktail creations and bartending skills have been outstanding. With representation from 38 different countries, this year’s competition has been bigger than the last, demonstrating the growing appeal of the Grand Prix as one of the world’s most renowned cocktail competitions.”

The judging panel consisted of nine judges, including rum expert Ian Burrell, bartender Andrew Nicholls, bartender Juan José González Rubiera and cocktail expert Jared Brown, also master distiller of Sipsmith in London.

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