Josh Reynolds, a UK bartender from the London Spitalfields branch of restaurant group Hawksmoor, has been crowned the Global Chivas Master 2015.
Reynolds competed against 11 other international finalists in the two-day whisky challenge final, which took place in New York in front of an expert panel of judges. There were six tasks to complete, including a round that saw Reynolds present his signature cocktail, the Black Dizzy Tea.
He has now won the opportunity to work in three bars across different cities, where he will be invited to create three classic signature drinks, and will also work alongside some of the world's top bartenders.
Judges included Ago Perrone, director of mixology at the Connaught bar in London; Ivy Mix, co-owner of the Leyenda cocktail bar in New York; Micah Melton, director of the Aviary, in Chicago, Illinois; and Masa Urushido, bar manager at New York restaurant and bar Saxon + Parole and the 2014 Chivas Master.
The competition, which is in its second year, also included the presentation to finalists of a hand-forged ice chisel, which had been created by a third generation Japanese blacksmith and was inspired by traditional Japanese methods of ice carving. It features a widened, extended blade designed to help improve the bartender's efficiency and precision when preparing cocktail ice spheres.
Commenting on the competitors' overall performance, Ago Perrone said: "The judging panel faced a very difficult decision in naming the 2015 Chivas Master, such was the talent showcased in this year's global final. Ultimately, Reynolds performed outstandingly across the entire six challenges and showed incredible skill, creativity and insight."
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