HLC Global Bartender Travel Scholarship

Hanna Lee Communications announces Global Bartender Travel Scholarship winners

22 February, 2023

Drinks International can exclusively reveal, PR and marketing agency Hanna Lee Communications (HLC) has announced the 18 winners of its second annual HLC Global Bartender Travel Scholarship.

The scholarship initiative is judged by a panel of globally acclaimed mixology and bar luminaries, who reviewed essays submitted by 116 bartenders in 32 countries in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

Hanna Lee, president and founder of HLC, said: “Bartending is a noble profession and a truly global community, and we are committed to bringing awareness to this worthy career path.

“With so many moving essays submitted by passionate, dedicated and creative bartenders from around the world, we know that choosing the scholarship winners was no easy task. We salute our global judging mentors for their hard work and all the applicants who are changing the lives of their guests and making an impact on how we all live, socialise, and of course, drink,” Lee added. 

The agency is earmarking US$18,000 for the 18 bartenders, divided equally, as a celebration of the agency’s 18th anniversary. 

Entirely self-funded by HLC, the scholarship is a giving back to the community initiative, designed to help broaden the horizons of bartenders. It also helps support their travel to key global cocktail and bar conferences to educate, network and inspire one another.

The 18 winners hail from three US and 15 international cities, including: Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Atlanta (US), Bangkok (Thailand), Berlin (Germany), Cape Town (South Africa), Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), London (UK), Manizales (Colombia), Marikina (Philippines), New York (US), Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and West Orange, NJ (US). 

The scholarship recipients chose seven conferences, including the Athens Bar Show, Bar Convent Berlin, Barra México, London Cocktail Week, Singapore Cocktail Festival, Sydney Bar Week and Tales of the Cocktail.

The 18 winners: 

1. Abednego Opoku (Five25 Rooftop, Accra, Ghana), Tales of the Cocktail 

2. AJ Delgra (Amor y Amargo, New York, US), Tales of the Cocktail 

3. Alisa Muraviova (A Bar with Shapes for a Name, London, UK.), Sydney Bar Week 

4. Baylee B. Hopings (Carmel, Atlanta, US), London Cocktail Week 

5. Becca Melvill (Cause Effect, Cape Town, South Africa), Bar Convent Berlin 

6. David Barr (Front Back Accra, Accra, Ghana), Singapore Cocktail Festival 

7. Fifi Bruce (Open Tab Company, Berlin, Germany), Barra México 

8. Hnin Pwint (Club Rangoon, Hong Kong), London Cocktail Week 

9. Jason-Candid Knüsel (Healthy Hospo, London, UK), Tales of the Cocktail 

10. Jesideh Clinton (Precious Bartending, West Orange, NJ, US), London Cocktail Week 

11. Joey Lai (Acqua Restaurant Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand), London Cocktail Week 

12. Joshua Alabi (The Grand Butler, Abuja, Nigeria), Tales of the Cocktail 

13. Marcela Alvarez (Clarito Bar, Manizales, Colombia), Athens Bar Show 

14. Olarchi Chigor (The Backyard, Port Harcourt, Nigeria), London Cocktail Week 

15. Riccardo Lugano (Connaught Bar, London, UK), Tales of the Cocktail 

16. Richie Cruz (Toma Sessions Mobile Bar, Marikina, Philippines), Tales of the Cocktail 

17. Rohan Matmary (Bar Trigona at Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Athens Bar Show 

18. Yeongjun Jo (Villa Records, Seoul, South Korea), London Cocktail Week

Michael Anstendig, editor in chief at HLC, said: “We believe that global travel is incredibly important for bartenders to inspire others and be inspired by new flavours, techniques and drinking traditions that will energize them and further hone their craft. 

“Attending global drinks conferences provides bartenders with incredible platforms to expand their networks and create new opportunities and possibilities. We are excited to help these wonderfully diverse bartenders from around the world immerse themselves in the global bar family and take their careers to the next level.”

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