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Dimitris Kaitalidis wins Flor de Caña’s European Sustainable Cocktail Challenge

Bartender Dimitris Kaitalidis soared to success during the European final of Flor de Caña’s Sustainable Cocktail Challenge.

Dimitris Kaitalidis
European victor: Dimitris Kaitalidis encompassed the qualities of the rum brand in his winning cocktail

Kaitalidis, of Nectar Distillery Bar in Greece, was declared the champion of the European final after crafting a superb sustainable cocktail.

Held on 12 October at the Amano Grand Central Hotel in Berlin during Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), Kaitalidis showcased his best skills against eight other talented bartenders.

His creation, called Tip to Root, was a cold-infused drink made with citrus waste cordial, soda made from locally grown tamarillos and reused hops from a brewery, and a Flor de Caña 12 Year Rum milk-wash, made from cappuccino leftovers and without using any energy during production.

In addition to the title of European champion, the winning bartender also received a competition trophy made from sustainable materials and a personalised bottle of Flor de Caña 25 Year Rum.

Kaitalidis commented: “Flor de Caña’s Sustainable Cocktail Challenge is a wonderful event that brings together the bartending community with the common goal of building a greener future.”

The judging panel comprised: Danil Nevsky, CEO of Indie Bartender; Remy Savage, owner of Bar with Shapes for a Name in London; Antonio Oliveira, Flor de Caña marketing manager in France; and Louisa Dodd, senior project manager of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Each cocktail faced a tough set of criteria to decide the winner; the judges considered everything from the history and inspiration behind the cocktail, and the use of sustainable ingredients and techniques to the level of creativity. Of course, flavour and appearance also played important roles in the final decision.

Tip to Root Flor de Cana cocktail
Tip to Root is a ‘spectacularly sustainable cocktail’

As the official sustainable bartender of the region, Kaitalidis will represent Europe in the global final in Nicaragua in February 2023. There, he will go head-to-head with other regional winners to compete for the title of Flor de Caña World’s Most Sustainable Bartender 2023 and a US$10,000 cheque.

Second place in the Europe regional heat was awarded to Sean Cavanagh from the UK, while Andrew Watson from Sweden secured third place.

More than 30 countries competed in the rum brand’s Sustainable Cocktail Challenge.

Flor de Caña has long prided itself on its sustainable credentials. The Nicaraguan rum brand is carbon neutral and Fair Trade-certified – plus, the distillery uses 100% renewable energy. But that’s not all; all carbon emissions during fermentation are captured and recycled, and the brand has planted 50,000 trees every year since 2005.

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