World’s Most Experimental Bartender South African Finale

7 October 2016

Earlier this year, Glenfiddich announced their global search to find the World’s Most Experimental Bartender. The highly anticipated South African Experimental Bartender final was held to reward one of the six game-changers in the mixology industry.

On Thursday 29 September 2016, Glenfiddich South Africa hosted the World’s Most Experimental Bartender Finale at Thirteen in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Each bartender collaborated with a master of another field to co-create a sensory experience, inspired by Glenfiddich’s story and skills of the artisans working in the distillery. The six finalists had just ten minutes to showcase their unique skills by tapping into the latest trends in mixology.  Their inspiration for the evening was the perfect pour of Glenfiddich’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky.

Upon arrival guests were greeted to a dram of Glenfiddich whisky and were served appetizing canapés throughout the course of the evening. Project XX (pronounced Twenty) was also available for guests to taste, before its official release date in South Africa. This unusual single malt is Glenfiddich’s most ambitious expression to date, as it combines the top picks of our warehouse from 20 industry experts.

Our panel of expert judges consisted of Jeannette Wentzel, editor at Whisky of the Week, Bernard Gutman, whisky writer and presenter and Trevor Sturrman, photographer and fashion stylist. The judges criteria, was to find a bartender with exceptional whisky knowledge and innovative mixology techniques.

At the end of the evening, Michael Stephenson and collaborator Paul Figuiera were crowned South Africa’s Experimental Bartender team for 2016. The duo served our panel of judges, their innovative cocktail entitled the Valley Of Time. This perfect pour celebrated and captured the true expression of Glenfiddich. The team was awarded a week-long, all-expenses-paid visit to the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, where they will represent South Africa, as they take part in the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy program.  They will compete against other finalists from around the world for the ultimate crown of World’s Most Experimental Bartender for 2016.

Meet South Africa’s six mixologist finalists and their serves:

-       Evert De Jong and Andrea van der Kuil – GLENSYNERGY

-       Cody Caprari and Natalie Edwards – SWEET DREAMS

-       Sam Zlotnick and Alistair McAdam – TIME IN A BOTTLE

-       Thomas Savage and Ross Hallem – FOREVER GLEN

-       Nicholas Mills and Elizabeth Waldron – -37

-       Michael Stephenson and Paul Figuiera – VALLEY OF TIME

Click here to view the event album.