About & How to enter
Havana Club, the celebrated Cuban rum brand, invites entries to its new global bartending competition, Havana Club Cocktail Maestros. With teamwork at its core, this pioneering initiative celebrates the art of bartending mastery, the spirit of hospitality and the brand's signature creative energy.
Havana Club is inviting teams of two bartenders from across the globe: in Europe with UK, France, Spain, Italy, Greece & Czech Republic as lead countries and all other European bartenders via three Wild Cards, as well as in the Caribbean with homeland Cuba, South America represented by Brazil and in Asia represented by China.
- Eight teams of finalists will be invited to a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Havana to compete in the global final (15th-18th April 2024) in Havana, Cuba.
- The showstopping four-day trip will also include an exclusive tour of the San José Distillery hosted by the brand's Maestros del Ron Cubano and team-bonding activities leading to an unforgettable experience of authentic Cuba.
- €10,000 prize for winning team
- The first-ever Havana Club Cocktail Maestros team will also take home a coveted, extremely rare bottle of Havana Club's luxury expression, Máximo Extra Añejo and an invitation to take part in the next edition of the competition and continue their journey with Havana Club.
Bartenders who enter will have the opportunity to embark on an enriching journey to compete and showcase their expertise on the international stage through a series of team-building challenges and an extensive education programme.
To equip teams with skills for a successful first entry, Havana Club is offering exclusive Maestro Sessions featuring educational films with insights from leading industry voices within the following categories:
- Liquid: Maestro del Ron Cubano Asbel Morales and Global Brand Ambassador Alfredo Guerra will lead an exploration of Havana Club's rich cultural heritage, delving into the intricate world of rum production, vibrant island life and the everlasting connection this has with the liquid.
- Flavour: Renowned chef and founder of Bando Belly, Naz Ramadan, will showcase her unique approach to flavours and ingredients through a virtual cooking demonstration. Accompanied by Global Brand Ambassador Liam Holyoak-Rackal, the pair will explore the intricate balancing of food and rum perfectly paired with a neat Havana Club Añejo 7 Años.
- Hustle: Iconic bar duo, Emilio Di Salvo and Keïla Urzaiz de Calignon, of London's most reputable cocktail bar, Satan's Whiskers, will focus on how to hustle within the bar scene. With their exceptional mixology skills and deep knowledge of crafting cocktails, they will share tricks of the trade, creating an atmosphere of genuine hospitality that turns a great drink into a memorable experience.
- Expression: With nearly a decade of experience, legendary photographer Lateef Okunnu unveils the secrets behind the extraordinary art of drink photography. Specialising in photographing food, drink and people, Lateef's extensive portfolio in these domains set the stage for a masterful exploration of the art of visually showcasing beverages.
Entries open for the first challenge, Liquid Harmony, from November 20th to January 15th. This challenge will be judged by local panels of brand ambassadors and long-standing friends of the brand.
Inspired by the Maestro Sessions, teams entering simply need to:
- Create a bespoke cocktail using Havana Club rum alongside two homemade ingredients
- Capture a stunning image of their creation accompanied by an equally remarkable team photo
- Enter their submission via the Havana Club Cocktail Maestros landing page.
Are you one half of a bartending duo with what it takes to be crowned as the first Havana Club Cocktail Maestros? If so, entries for Havana Club Cocktail Maestros open on Monday 20th November 2023 at havana-club.com.
Final in Cuba
Successful Liquid Harmony applicants will advance to national and regional finals with eight teams of finalists invited to the global final (15th-18th April 2024) in Havana, Cuba where they will be fully immersed in the vibrant heart of the city, exploring the local bartending scene, and embracing island life.
The final challenges will include The Cocktail Mastery challenge and The Great Havana Hustle where teams will host a bar shift to highlight real-life hospitality mastery and celebrate the collective energy.
Bartenders across the globe have always been at the heart of our story, which is exactly why we're committed to supporting and collaborating with them. This year, we are delighted to unveil Havana Club Cocktail Maestros, a competition rooted in a team mindset, brand education, cocktail expertise and cultural immersion. This isn't just about mixing the best drinks; it's about celebrating a unique blend of cocktail mastery and hospitality skills within the bartending community.Havana Club's International Brand Director, Ludmilla Stephkov
We're looking forward to reviewing entries and crowning the first-ever Havana Club Cocktail Maestros champions whilst offering an unforgettable journey into the world of Cuban culture and craftsmanship.