Friday, June 24, 2016


Chivas Regal has announced Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon from Instituto Culinario de Mexico and Bootlegger in Puebla, Mexico as its 2016 Chivas Masters competition winner.

The first major bartending competition to be held in Shanghai, saw Alejandro overcome fierce competition from 14 of the world’s most innovative bartenders over a five-day final.

2016 Chivas Masters Winner Alejandro Millan Ponce de Leon
with judges Chris Lowder, Naren Young, Leo Robitschek and Dre Masso

Alejandro also led a group of fellow finalists to victory who, as a team, were awarded the title of ‘Chivas Masters Collective’ for their pop-up bar, The Beach Brothers at Logan’s Punch. The team, comprising of Santiago Ortiz Jacome from Spain, Ben Rojo from the United States, Stanisław Domin from Poland, and Tomáš Melzer from Czech Republic will all embark on a once in a lifetime trip to the Tales of the Cocktail 2016 festival in New Orleans to learn from some of the industry’s most renowned bartenders.

Due to his team spirit, hospitality and outstanding drink creations Alejandro was awarded the overall Chivas Masters title. The expert panel of judges were impressed by Alejandro’s winning local cocktail, ‘El Jornalero’, which displayed a culinary connection with his region’s indigenous ingredients and showed a great authenticity tying it to the roots of his Mexican culture.

The 2016 Chivas Masters judging panel boasted some of the world’s top industry leaders: Chris Lowder, head bartender at the Four Seasons in Seoul; Naren Young, head bartender at Dante in New York City; industry legend Dre Masso; and Leo Robitschek, bar director of New York’s Eleven Madison Park, who each coached the finalists in a series of workshops and judged competitors on their bartending talent and ability to lead, mentor and inspire a team.

Commenting on the news, Alejandro said: “The global Chivas Masters final in Shanghai has opened my eyes and I hope that I have shown just what Mexico can do. It is a huge honour to hold the title of Chivas Master. The support of my team in Mexico and the amazing bartenders around me here at the global final has showed me that true brotherhood exists, and being able to work with these people is a great privilege.”

The accolade of Chivas Master will take Alejandro on a bespoke trip to one of the world’s most iconic bars in a city of his choice, to create a signature Chivas cocktail as a lasting contribution to the global competition.

Posted by Steve Rush