The competition closed for entries on 15th January 2018.
The UK judging panel will consist of three previous winners (Marcis Dzelzainis, Sager & Wild and Jake O’Brien Murphy, Callooh Callay) and the brand’s Global Ambassador, Meimi Sanchez.
The three judges will review each submission, recreate their favourites to test and try them on film, before announcing the UK shortlist on this site on the 22nd January. The shortlisted bartenders will then be invited to a UK final on the 1st/2nd February in London.
The international judges, renowned drinks experts headed by award-winning drinks historians and all round legends, Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller, will then select the 10 international finalists. The final 10 will compete at an iconic venue in Havana, creating enhanced versions of their cocktails that further stimulate one or more of the five senses of taste, sight, sound, smell and touch. One of these final 10 competitors will be crowned the International Winner of the Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix 2018.
This year’s theme is ‘Cuba Moderna’, because the essence of Havana Club stems from the growing drinks, food, music, arts and cultural scene of Havana. Judges want to see the cocktails of tomorrow, using inspiration from our brand’s rich history.
The rules are simple: your cocktail must include either Havana Club Añejo 3 Años, Havana Club Añejo 7 Años or Havana Club Selección de Maestros.
The goal of the competition is to find a modern cocktail that is ORIGINAL, EASY TO MAKE, REPLICABLE, as well as being inspired by Cuban bartending techniques such as, the use of ingredients, drink structure or cultural pride.
The new cocktail creations need to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Cuban cocktail culture, its simplicity of ingredients, the structure of its cocktails, its innovative bartending techniques and its timeless recipes. The cocktails also need to showcase the influence of the competitors’ local culture and their personal experiences by using some, or all, of the five senses (taste, sight, sound, smell and touch) to enhance their cocktail. A great example of this is from the HCCGP16 winner Amaury Cepeda. In addition to creating a great, locally inspired cocktail, Amaury bought his own personal cultural experience to the competition enhancing his cocktail by serving it in a traditional clay cup fused with a sensory atmosphere of Cuban cigar smoke aroma and Cuban traditional music for sound.