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50 Best debuts scholarship programme

The World’s 50 Best Bars has announced it will launch its inaugural scholarship programme in partnership with Beam Suntory’s The Blend.

The Blend by Beam Suntory is a global advocacy programme created to inspire, educate, and connect the hospitality industry

The 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship is open to any bartender from anywhere in the world aged 21 or over, with fewer than three years’ experience. The Blend is an online global community launched by Beam Suntory, and was set up to enable hospitality workers to engage with industry professionals worldwide.

Mark Sansom, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Bars, said: “We could not be more excited to launch the 50 Best Bars Scholarship, in partnership with The Blend by Beam Suntory.

“It’s an initiative we have been planning for several years and it is truly excellent to be able to work with a brand such as Beam Suntory, which shares our vision to professionalise the craft of bartending and support bartenders with a future-gazing ideology.

“We look forward to receiving applications from all over the world as we give this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to someone that will undoubtedly set their career into overdrive.”

The 50 Best Scholar will be selected after a three-stage judging process. The first round will see applicants asked to share their vision of Future Positive, the theme for this year’s scholarship, and what it means to them as a bartender as part of a video application and questionnaire format.

A total of 25 applicants will be selected to go through to the second round, in which the shortlisted candidates will be asked to design a drink inspired by the theme which spotlights one local ingredient, as well as documenting the research, development and process that goes into making their chosen serve.

The winner will attend an internship at Connaught Bar

For this second stage, 50 Best has recruited previous winners of its Sustainable Bar Award and other supporters of the bar industry. The guest judges include: Vijay Mudaliar of Singapore’s Native and Analogue; Ashish Sharma of The Surf Club based in Miami; Jean Trinh of Alquímico in Cartagena; Kelsey Ramage of USA-based The Trash Collective; Claire Sprouse of Hunky Dory in Brooklyn; and Luke Whearty of Byrdi in Melbourne, to help select the top five applicants who will make it to the final round.

For the five finalists, the third stage will comprise a ‘rigorous’ interview process.

The winner will be announced at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 awards ceremony. They will then be rewarded with two internships which will take place in 2023 in London and New York. The first will take place at Connaught Bar.

Perrone said: “We at Connaught Bar are very excited to host the first-ever winner of the 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship for a learning experience with us. I look forward to assessing the applications and giving the opportunity to the deserving winner to take part in this amazing experience.”

The second internship will take place at Katana Kitten, currently ranked 10th in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list.

“The Katana Kitten team is honoured to be working with The World’s 50 Best Bars and Beam Suntory on the first-ever Scholarship,” said Urushido. “We are excited for this opportunity to host and share our unique hospitality values with this bartender on the start of their professional journey behind the bar.”

Following the internship, the winner will be hosted by The Blend Global Team for an experience in Madrid. Flights between these destinations will be included and the winner will receive weekly living expenses to enjoy the host cities.

Meimi Sanchez, senior brand manager at The Blend Global, says: “We are really excited to be collaborating with 50 Best on this scholarship opportunity, playing a part in shaping and supporting an emerging bartender’s career.

“The theme of this year’s Scholarship speaks to Beam Suntory’s commitment to fostering an industry that is responsible, inclusive and long lasting.”

Applications for 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship open on 19 May at 9am (GMT+1).

In April this year, Cognac brand Hennessy created a scholarship to support students from minority backgrounds in the spirits trade.

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