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Ninon Fauvarque wins Cocktail Grand Prix

France-based bartender Ninon Fauvarque has walked away with the top trophy in the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix competition.

From left to right: Stepan Abrahamyan, from Armenia, second place; Ninon Fauvarque, from France, first place; Johnson Wisdom Dogbey, from Ghana, third place

Fauvarque (pictured centre), who works at La Queue du Coq bar in Annecy, was victorious at the competition’s grand final in Havana, Cuba, where 40 bartenders went head to head.

This year, the biennial Cocktail Grand Prix was inspired by Cuba’s food, technology and cultural revolution.

Competitors were challenged to create their final serves after an immersive five-day brand experience, with seminars, workshops and local tours hosted by Havana Club.

Fauvarque impressed a panel of judges with her cocktail, Curvas, which contained Havana Club 7 Years Old, Horchata, orange and lime reduction, spiced-infused honey syrup and red bean aquafaba.

The cocktail was praised for its authentic Cuban ingredients and inspiration from French bartending culture. It also championed sustainability and vegan foods through its use of aquafaba, a vegetable liquid used to replace egg white.

Fauvarque received a bottle of Havana Club Máximo as her prize and will be given the opportunity to pursue a rum project of her own choice in collaboration with Havana Club. She will also return as a judge for the next global final of Cocktail Grand Prix in 2020.

Stepan Abrahamyan from Armenia and Johnson Wisdom Dogbey from Ghana were awarded second and third places respectively.

The judging panel included: Masa Urushido from Saxon + Parole; Elias Stergiopoulos from Baba au Rum; Alejandro Bolivar from El Floridita; Sam Ross from Attaboy; Carina Soto from Candelaria and Audrey Saunders from Pegu Club.

Drinks historians and authors Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller collaborated with Havana Club to curate and judge the event’s final.

“Ninon’s creation is a provocative testimony of Cuba, with an element of innovation and revolution that characterises Cubans,” said Nick Blacknell, international marketing director for Havana Club.

“We are excited to introduce contemporary consumers to the vibrancy of Havana through the taste of Curvas and to ensure the global rum category continues to grow in the coming years.”

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