BARTENDER CROWNED 2017 CHIVAS MASTERS GLOBAL
CHAMPION IN TOKYO WITH MEXICO AND HONG KONG COMPLETING THE WINNING COLLECTIVE TEAM
Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has crowned Atsushi Suzuki from the Sober Company in Shanghai, China, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. Over a challenging five-day finale in Tokyo, Japan, Atsushi overcame strong competition from 14 of the world’s most skilled bartenders and led the winning Chivas Masters Collective team to victory, before being declared the overall champion.
The fourth Chivas Masters Global Final required the 15 national winners to showcase the Chivas Regal values of brotherhood, collaboration and generosity. Atsushi impressed the expert panel of judges by expressing these core principles as he proved the outstanding contestant in what was a highly captivating and memorable final, culminating in the awards ceremony at the MIXX Bar & Lounge at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.
A Japanese native himself, Atsushi fully embraced the traditions of Japanese bartending culture throughout a week of individual and team challenges, which included four individual drinks-making rounds. Atsushi’s winning team drinks ritual was The Double Talk, which was made using Chivas Regal 12, and presented with a focus on Japanese craftsmanship, kind service and attention to detail. Inspired by the way in which great drinks can bring people together and cross language barriers, he collaborated with his Mexican and Hong Kong team-mates, and was mentored by hospitality industry pioneer and team sensei Iain Griffiths, to devise a ritual which ensured the drink was designed to be shared, and allowed the drink to be adapted and personalised for different countries around the world. As the newly crowned 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, Atsushi has won an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team led by Atsushi – comprising Mexico’s Haydée Barron Flores and Ryan Nightingale from Hong Kong – walked away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.
Upon being crowned champion, Atsushi commented:
“Wow. It is such an honour to receive this – and in my home town too. I feel like it’s a win for Japan as well as for China. And of course it’s not just for me, but for my awesome team of Haydée and Ryan, and my sensei, Iain. I’ve found friends for the rest of my life through the Chivas Masters - and I’ve learnt how to be a better bartender too.”
Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, commented from Tokyo:
“The Chivas Masters Global Final has again shown the world the wonderful values and principles that great bartending can harness. Atsushi fully took the Chivas Regal spirit of generosity and collaboration with him into the final, which was the eventual point of difference in a very tough field – alongside, of course, some spectacular bartending skills.
“Beyond the serve itself, teamwork and collaboration are just as crucial to the craft of drinks making, and we have witnessed that here today, and throughout the entire contest. That is why we are also delighted to honour the entire winning Chivas Masters Collective, who helped lead our champion to victory and demonstrated that success really does taste better shared.”
The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final was host to a distinguished panel of internationally acclaimed judges: Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd; Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group and renowned ‘ice chef’; Chris Lowder, ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender’ in 2015; Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; and Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench. Each not only scored the finalists, but also shared their insights and expertise through a series of inspirational masterclasses over the course of the week.
The evening also saw the first ever Chivas Masters Global Champion, Masa Urushido, honoured as a Grand Master, in his native Japan.
Atsushi Suzuki’s winning drinks ritual:
THE DOUBLE TALK
40ml Chivas Regal 12
20ml Bianco Vermouth
Garnished with Matcha Tea Salt – or customised to your country Stirred and served over block ice in a rocks glass, with a side serve for sharing
The Chivas Masters Collective teams:
Team leader: Atsushi Suzuki, China
Team member: Haydée Barron Flores, Mexico
Team member: Ryan Nightingale
Hong Kong Team leader: Hyacinthe Lescoët, France
Team member: Daniel Huggins, Germany
Team member: Patryk Biadacz, Poland
Team leader: Masato Sakurai, Japan
Team member: Sandra Šalatová, Czech Republic
Team member: Aloisek Rodríguez Martínez, Cuba
Team leader: Roger Grüter, Switzerland
Team member: Abner Barrientos, Puerto Rico
Team member: Wouter Bosch, The Netherlands
Team leader: Adam Schmidt, USA
Team member: Benjamin Boyce, United Arab Emirates
Team member: Rhys Wilson, United Kingdom
Notes to Editors
For more information please contact: Louisa Humm, Senior International PR Manager, Chivas Regal - Louisa.Humm@pernod-ricard.com
About Chivas Regal
Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal is the world’s first luxury whisky and is considered to be a timeless classic, renowned for its benchmark quality and taste, style, substance and exclusivity. A truly global brand, Chivas Regal has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide and today sells 4.5 million 9L cases annually in more than 150 countries across the globe. With generosity, entrepreneurship and integrity at the heart of Chivas Regal, the brand launched its successful Win the Right Way campaign in 2014, which aims to inspire a new generation whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. The Chivas Regal range includes Chivas Regal 12, Chivas Regal Extra, Chivas Regal Mizunara, Chivas Regal 18, our first blended malt Chivas Regal Ultis, Chivas Regal 25, the pinnacle of the range and ultra-prestige blend Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend. www.chivas.com
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.1 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin - plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.
About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of € 8,682 million in FY16. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin and Malibu, Mumm and Perrier- Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of 18,500 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 85 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.
Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.