Havana Club competition seeks cocktails inspired by modern Cuba

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Bartenders are being challenged to create a Havana Club rum cocktail inspired by modern Cuba in a global competition that culminates in a final in Havana.

The biennial Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix, now on its 12th outing, has been reimagined by brand owner Pernod Ricard to celebrate Cuba’s burgeoning revolution in food, technology and culture.

The 2018 competition, titled “Cuba Moderna”, challenges entrants to translate contemporary Cuba into an original cocktail that is simple and replicable while staying true to authentic Cuban ingredients, bartending techniques and culture.

It will begin with local competitions in more than 40 countries, including the UK, that call on entrants to craft a new rum cocktail that mixes “Cuba Moderna” with their own local culture.

The winner from each country will jet off to Havana from May 28 to June 2 for the global finale, judged by a panel of the world’s leading rum authorities, headed by award-winning spirits writer Anistatia Miller.

The national winners will also experience “Cuba moderna” first hand through visits to Havana’s best new private bars and restaurants, known as paladares, and performances from rising stars in the Cuban music world.

The immersion will be underpinned by an itinerary of bartending seminars, exploring modern bartending trends and the evolution of classic cocktails, and a visit to the Havana Club distillery.

They will be joined by a wild card entrant selected through a competition on the Havana Club Grand Prix Facebook page. With the search for entries launched on February 1, the winner will be announced in March.

Nick Blacknell, international marketing director of Havana Club, said: “The cultural revolution in Cuba is the most exciting place to be in the world right now – it’s a melting pot of tradition and authenticity with a modern outlook like we have never seen before.

“With the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix, we want to show modern Havana to the world through new, authentic ways to enjoy Cuban rum and inspire others to explore Cuba themselves.

“We look forward to welcoming the next generation of world-class mixologists to Havana, just as we have done for more than 20 years, because there is no better place for them to find the inspiration they need to create the ultimate Cuba Moderna cocktail that truly reflects the important cultural evolution we are witnessing.”

To take part in the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix, contact your local Pernod Ricard representative or visit the competition’s Facebook page.

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