On July 15th 2014 in New York, American bartender, Masahiro Urushido, was revealed as Chivas Regal’s first ever Chivas Master, winning the iconic whisky brand’s inaugural bartender competition in style at the NoMad hotel.
Urushido was announced as the winner following a tightly contested final, which saw him impress an international panel of judges with his ‘The New Pal’ cocktail to secure victory over the 12 other international competitors. He wins the opportunity to work in partnership with Dave Arnold, inventor and co-founder of Booker and Dax, a food science development company and lab dedicated to finding solutions to real world food, beverage and cooking issues. The partnership will see Urushido and Arnold collaborating on an inspirational concept, which will be revealed at the next Chivas Masters final in 2015.
The 13 finalists were all winners of the national Chivas Masters heats, which took place around the world following the competition’s launch in April this year. During the national heats, competitors were tasked with creating a new classic cocktail that would stand the test of time. During the two-day final, the bartenders were asked to re-create one of the cocktails that earned them a place in the final and also compete in a series of challenges designed to test their creativity, style and mixology skills.
The judging panel was comprised of leading experts in the world of food and drink, including Ago Perrone, Director of Mixology at the David Collins-designed Connaught Bar in London; Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry from The Dead Rabbit in New York; and Max Warner, Chivas Global Brand Ambassador.
Masahiro Urushido commented: “It’s an honor to be chosen as the first Chivas Master. As a bartender, I am well aware of the long heritage of Chivas so immersing myself into the history of cocktails to create a drink that can stand the test of time has been very inspirational. I am excited to share this experience with my fellow bartenders and to introduce my ‘The New Pal’ cocktail to my customers in New York. I hope that it encourages other bartenders around the world to create new Chivas cocktails inspired by the great classics”.
All competitors who took part in the final are now to conclude their trip with a visit to the world’s premier cocktail festival ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ in New Orleans, where Chivas is sponsoring the Best American/International Cocktail Bar at the Spirited Awards.
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