Winners of Naked Malt’s Global Bartender Competition,  ‘Live Naked’ Bar Swap, announced

Naked Malt’s renowned bartender engagement programme, ‘Live Naked Bar Swap’, has announced its winners, following a rigorous three-stage competition that involved 35 of the world’s most influential bars from the UK, US, Taiwan, the Nordics, and South Korea. 

In the final heats, each of the participating bars were challenged to re-create the classic whisky sour using Naked Malt, before each national winner was selected by the expert panel of judges.  

In the UK, Panda & Sons (Sean Cavanagh) from Edinburgh scooped the national title. From the Nordics, A Bar Called Gemma (Johan Evers & Oscar Drigoris) reigned supreme, and in South Korea it was Villa Records (Yeongjun Jo & Hyundo Cho). Stealing the crown in the US was Morgan Zuch & Liz Senyak from Mandarin Heights and, last but not least, from Taiwan – Vender (Darren Lim & Summer Chen) was deemed the champion. 

As part of their prize, two bartenders from each bar will now go on to “swap” countries with their peers; presenting them with a culturally immersive experience where they will be able to gain new knowledge, learn new skills, and build relationships with colleagues from around the globe. 

As part of their prize, the international champions have also been automatically appointed to the judging panel of next year’s event in their visiting country, which will take place between November 2022 and January 2023. 

Justina Leonaviciute, Global Brand Manager at Naked Malt, said: “This year’s ‘Live Naked Bar Swap was a spectacular celebration of the very best industry talent working across the globe. After an incredibly challenging period for the hospitality industry, we wanted to reunite our Naked community over a Naked Sour serve and inspire a new generation of bartenders and consumers to explore the very best of Scotch whisky. Through liberating, inspirational, and educational experiences bartenders were able to reconnect, share their creativity and skills and most importantly experience what it means to Live Naked.”

She added, “Year after year, the ‘Live Naked Bar Swap’ grows in scale and ambition with the aim to create a new community of bartenders who will allow us to propel the Naked Malt brand across the world. It is fast becoming one of the most recognised bartender programmes in the drinks industry.”

During the Live Naked Bar Swap competition two bartenders from each participating venue were tasked with designing their perfect, Unconventional Naked Sour serve and asked to share the story of their creation through a series of engaging social media posts. Competition participants were then invited to attend a national finale event where they were asked to present their Naked Sour in front of an expert panel and were then challenged to serve up a bespoke cocktail on the spot, using only a selection of mystery ingredients.

Competition finale events in each country were underpinned with interactive and immersive activities, which aimed to take entrants away from the pressures of everyday life behind the bar. The activities were designed to embody the spirit of freedom that the brand represents, and ultimately encourage bartenders to Live Naked.  

Produced in Scotland by ultra-premium spirits company, Edrington, Naked Malt, is an award winning contemporary premium blended malt whisky, which is comprised of the world’s finest single malts, extra matured in first-fill (or naked) Oloroso sherry casks for 6 months. The brand seeks to inspire a new generation of whisky drinkers to discover the possibilities of whisky enjoyment by taking the simple DNA of a whisky sour and combining it with Naked’s versatile liquid to create a premium yet accessible hero serve.

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