Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix 2016 : The Program
It’s almost upon us: just a few hours and the 11th Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix will begin. We’ve been waiting for this moment for two years now and really can’t wait to see what this year’s edition has in store. We trust that we’ll get to taste fantastic drinks and meet fascinating people but for now, the only thing we can announce is the program. So here are the highlights of the upcoming Havana week.
May 31st : It will understandably be dedicated to the discovery of beautiful Havana. Competitors and guests will be taken on a tour of the city’s landmark, starting at the Museo del Ron with fresh guarapo and then hitting the most iconic spots of Old Havana and Vedado. Get ready for photos on Plaza de la Revolución and the Malecón! The afternoon will be a bit more studious with seminars given by the members of our jury. Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown will let us know all about “Cuban Rum Around the World”, while a stellar team made of Thanos Prunarus, Scotty Schuder, Hidegetsu Ueno and Tato Giovanonni will explain how they fuse Cuban rum with their local specs. Alejandro Bolivar will introduce the Asociación de Cantineros de Cuba and Dave Broom will take control of the PA to take us on a journey through the history of Cuban music. The evening will mirror the morning: guests and competitors will be taken on a tour of three historical landmarks of the Cuban cocktail scene.
June 1st : Competitors, please keep the bar crawl short – the second day will start bright and early with a visit of the Havana Club distillery and a tasting workshop with Maestro del Ron Cubano Asbel Morales. The afternoon will be about finding inspiration. Taste specialist and renowned Oxford professor Charles Spence will share exclusive, out of industry knowledge in a very exciting seminar, while Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller will enlist the help of Scotty Schuder for a tasting session of in-season Cuban ingredients. The evening’s entertainment will be taken care of by the Asociación de Cantineros de Cuba.
June 2nd : This is the big one, folks. First, the competitors will be guided through Havana’s produce markets where they’ll have to find and purchase all the ingredients necessary for their drink. Back at the Nacional, they will have to create the perfect cocktail, a fusion of a Cuban classic with elements of the competitor’s culture or tradition. In the afternoon, in groups of five, they will present their new creation to the jury and hope they manage to convince the judges to send them through to the final.
June 3rd : While the bartenders who didn’t make it to the final will all be busy remembering the previous night’s stellar performances by Havana Cultura artists, the 10 finalists will relive the same experience as the morning before – only with more pressure, if that’s at all possible. A market trip, then, followed by a brainstorming session to come up with the drink that best epitomizes Cuban Fusion. The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony organized that very evening at the Cervecería, a craft brewery in Havana’s old harbour. This year’s prize for the overall winner is very special indeed: on top of the now traditional golden Giraldilla trophy and the bottle of Havana Club Máximo, he or she will get to define, together with Havana Club, a rum project that he / she would get to carry out (a book, a pop up bar, a rum blend… the call is his / hers). The stakes are high!
June 4th : Last day, a great one to relax in town or on the beach - unless the BarNews team decides you need to answer a few questions, that is (sorry!).
So see you in Havana or watch this space for all the info on what happened.
And now, let the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix begin!