Suzuki becomes Chivas Masters global champion

07 July, 2017

Atsushi Suzuki from Shanghai has taken the title of Chivas Masters global champion in Tokyo with his winning cocktail The Double Talk.

Suzuki from the Sober Company in Shanghai overcame strong competition from 14 bartenders in individual and team contests to be declared the overall champion at the Chivas Masters awards ceremony at the MIXX Bar & Lounge at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.

The Chivas masters global final, now in its fourth year required the 15 national winners to showcase the Chivas Regal values: “brotherhood, collaboration and generosity”.

Bartenders were tasked with making four different drinks which was a team effort (Chivas Masters collective). 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 under the mentorship of Iain Griffiths.

Upon being crowned champion, Atsushi said: “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.”

The final judging panel included Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan; Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group; Chris Lowder, Spirits Evangelist at Proof and Co; 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.

Max Warner, global brand ambassador for Chivas Regal, said: “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.”

Atsushi’s prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team led by Atsushi comprised; 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.

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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.