Maxim Schulte wins Beefeater MIXLDN 7

09 February, 2018

Maxim Schulte from Hong Kong & Macau has been crowned the Beefeater MIXLDN 7 global champion, following a four-day final in London.

Schulte’s Stack of Fortune cocktail won over the judges in the grand final on February 8 in Shoreditch, London and he will now be given the opportunity to create his own gin alongside Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne MBE.

Just 8 of the 30 bartenders qualified for the grand final, which was judged by Payne, Difford’s Guide editor Simon Difford, Ryan Chetiyawardana of Dandelyan, Doug McMaster of CUB, Alessandro Palazzi of Dukes and Sumaiyah Connolly, Beefeater global brand ambassador.

“Every bartender wants to show what they can do in terms of cocktail-making as an art form and Beefeater MIXLDN really allowed me to do that,” said Schulte. “Stack of Fortune was inspired by Macau’s reputation as the Las Vegas of Asia and it’s certainly bought me good luck. I’ve already got some ideas up my sleeve for my limited-edition gin and I’m looking forward to being able to learn from a legend like Desmond Payne.”

Last year’s champion, Timothy Ching joined DI to talk about the opportunities brought forward by the global competition.

“The standard of the ingredients, presentations and competition has definitely increased and I think Maxim is a worthy winner. His Stack of Fortune cocktail had a fantastic story behind it and it was extremely well balanced.

“Maxim is very lucky because Beefeater has unlocked so many doors for me and the opportunities are almost endless.”

Ching’s limited edition expression contains smoked chilies and cardamom seeds and just 200 bottles were ever released.

“It was a brilliant experience to work with Desmond," added Ching. "We spent a week starting at 9am every day to create the gin and he is such a kind and genuine person. I was also able to design the label so I had the names of the other finalists printed on the back and sent each one a bottle as a gesture.”

More than half of the bottles were sold in less than two weeks at the Beefeater distillery and Ching only has 19 bottles remaining, five of which he insists will be reserved for his family.

Ching added: “Working with Beafeater has been such a time of joy and privilege and it has given me the opportunity to do things like guest bartend in Bali and now it has helped me get a new job. From the first week of March I will start a new job at Wynn Hotel in Maccau where I’ll have a team of 35.

“I strongly believe that without Beafeater MIXLDN I wouldn’t have been able to make this career step.”

Payne added: “The creativity amongst bartenders today is second to none and it reflects the broader trend we’re seeing that every cocktail has its own narrative and story – also discussed in our recent report, ‘Cocktails: The New Golden Era’. 

"Passion like this continues to drive the industry forward and the profession of bartending is being seen in a new light. I congratulate Maxim for being in the vanguard of this movement that has flourished in my 50 years. He has set the bar high for next year’s competition.”

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