China bartender Suzuki clinches Chivas Masters 2017 title

7th July, 2017 by Amy Hopkins

China-based bartender Atsushi Suzuki, who works at the Sober Company in Shanghai, has been crowned 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion following a five-day final in Tokyo.

China’s Atsushi Suzuki has clinched the Chivas Masters 2017 winning title

Suzuki fought off competition from 14 other bartenders during the fourth iteration of the annual competition, launched by blended Scotch whisky brand Chivas Regal.

Fifteen bartenders who won their national heats were tasked with showcasing Chivas Regal’s values of “brotherhood, collaboration and generosity”.

Suzuki impressed a panel of judges, which consisted of: Mr Lyan’s Iain Griffiths; Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group; Chris Lowder, ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender’ in 2015; Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; and Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench.

After taking part in four individual drinks-making rounds, Suzuki was announced as the winner at an awards ceremony at the MIXX Bar & Lounge at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.

In collaboration with his Mexican and Hong Kong teammates, and mentored by Iain Griffiths, Suzuki created the competition’s winning ‘drinks ritual’, which was called The Double Talk.

The drink was made using Chivas Regal 12, Campari, Bianco Vermouth
, and matcha tea salt, while its ‘ritual’ focused on Japanese craftsmanship. The ritual also ensured the drink was ‘designed to be shared, and allowed the drink to be adapted and personalised for different countries around the world’.

As his prize, Suzuki will receive an all-access and all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans.

The winning Chivas Masters Collective team led by Suzuki – comprising Mexico’s Haydée Barron Flores and Ryan Nightingale from Hong Kong – walked away with the Chivas Regal The Icon range, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

“Atsushi fully took the Chivas Regal spirit of generosity and collaboration with him into the final, which was the eventual point of difference in a very tough field – alongside, of course, some spectacular bartending skills,” said Max Warner, global brand ambassador for Chivas Regal.

“Beyond the serve itself, teamwork and collaboration are just as crucial to the craft of drinks- making, and we have witnessed that here today, and throughout the entire contest.

“That is why we are also delighted to honour the entire winning Chivas Masters Collective, who helped lead our champion to victory and demonstrated that success really does taste better shared.”

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