UK bartender announced as winner of global Chivas Masters

Chivas Masters Max_Warner,_Masa_Urushido,_Josh_Reynolds,_Ago_Perrone,_Giovanni_Martinez

Josh Reynolds from Hawksmoor Spitalfields bar in London has been named as global winner of the 2015 Chivas Masters competition.

Pictured centre, he was one of 12 bartenders who took part in six challenges across two days in New York City in front of an expert panel of judges. The finalists were then all taken to the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans where the winner was announced at the Chivas Regal Gala Dinner last night.

In the first round, Josh presented his signature cocktail, The Black Dizzy Tea (pictured below with the recipe) – one of the four cocktails he created using Chivas Regal whisky for the UK final in London. He was following in the footsteps of his brother, Ali Reynolds, also from Hawksmoor Spitalfields, who was UK winner of Chivas Masters last year.

Josh has won the opportunity to work in three “iconic” bars across different cities where he will be inspired to create his own three “classic” signature drinks, working alongside some of the world’s most influential bartenders.

The 12 finalists were winners of national Chivas Masters heats around the world earlier this year. During the global final, the bartenders were asked to re-create one of the cocktails that earned them a place in the final and also compete in a series of challenges and workshops designed to test their creativity, style, understanding of flavours and cocktail-making skills.

The judging panel included: Ago Perrone, director of mixology at the Connaught Bar at The Connaught hotel in London; leading US bartender Ivy Mix, the co-owner of new Brooklyn bar Leyenda; Micah Melton, director of The Aviary bar in Chicago; and Masa Urushido, bar manager at Saxon + Parole in Manhattan, who was the 2014 Chivas Master.

During this week’s final, Urushido presented a bar tool innovation that was inspired by traditional Japanese methods of ice-carving and was created as part of his prize for winning last year’s competition. The Ice Chisel set has been hand-forged by a third-generation Japanese blacksmith and features an extended and widened curved blade to assist the precision and efficiency of the bartender when preparing ice spheres for cocktails.

Ago praised the overall performance of the competitors during the final round, commenting: “The judging panel faced a very difficult decision in naming the 2015 Chivas Master such was the talent showcased in this year’s global final. Ultimately, Reynolds performed outstandingly across the entire six challenges and showed incredible skill, creativity and insight.”

Max Warner, global brand ambassador for Chivas Regal, added: “Now in its second year, the Chivas Masters is continuing to serve a growing interest in classic-inspired modern cocktails around the world. At Chivas Regal we are dedicated to taking that interest even further by inspiring bartenders to explore the endless possibilities of Chivas within their drinks making.”

The other finalists were

  • Dev Johnson of Employees Only in New York City, USA
  • Jacob Shteyntsayg of Jasper’s Bar in Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Kevin Song of D Lounge in Beijing, China
  • Matthew Long of Lulu White in Paris, France
  • Ondřej Hnilička of Hemingway Bar in Prague, the Czech Republic
  • Ryuichi Saitoh of Roof Top Bar at Andaz in Tokyo, Japan
  • Sigrid Sarv of Cavalli Club in Dubai, UAE
  • Stas Kireev of The Box Bar in Moscow, Russia
  • Steven Sünderhauf of Buck and Breck in Berlin, Germany
  • Thodoris Pirillos of A for Athens Bar in Athens, Greece
  • Tunny Grattidge of Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong

Pictured top (left to right): Max Warner, Masa Urushido, Josh Reynolds, Ago Perrone and Chivas Regal international brand ambassador Giovanni Martinez.

Josh Reynolds cocktail

Black Dizzy Tea by Josh Reynolds (as presented at the UK final)
60ml Chivas Regal 12 Year Old
20ml Dubonnet
10ml Pineapple syrup
1.25ml Sarsaparilla cordial
Throw between tins until correct dilution and aeration is achieved. Serve in glass tea cup. No ice. Garnish with lemon zest around the rim.

Picture below: all the finalists from the global Chivas Masters final


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