Monday, November 12, 2018


Glenfiddich, has announced the winners of its annual World’s Most Experimental Bartender competition.

Johnny Tsai of Bar TCRC and Chef Yu Lee of Ninao Gelato from Taiwan, beat contestants from across the globe to take the highly coveted title at last week’s final.

Johnny Tsai and Yu Lee

The judges were in awe of their ‘Xiao Long Fiddich’ creation – a next generation serve that fused one of Taiwan’s most authentic dishes, Xiao Long Bao buns, together with one of Scotland’s most famous exports - Glenfiddich 12 Year Old.

The pair added an unexpected twist by freezing the buns using dry ice before filling them with an experimental mix of ‘East meets West’ flavours including Glenfiddich-infused raisins, wax gourd candy, homemade maple syrup bacon and cashew nuts. The duo will now have their creativity showcased globally.

The World’s Most Experimental Bartender is Glenfiddich’s inaugural competition that aims to cultivate community, challenging top bartenders around the world to come together with a fellow craftsman or artisan outside the drinks world to co-create fresh, unimaginable drinking experiences for the brand.

Finalists fought off tough competition in regional heats over the past six months to earn a place at the final. The immersive experience started at the home of Glenfiddich in Dufftown, where each bartender and their creative partner underwent a series of whisky based challenges via unparalleled access to distillery experts.

Commenting on the news, Struan Grant Ralph, Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador, Struan Grant Ralph, said: “We’ve been absolutely astounded by the level of innovation and imagination in this year’s competition. The brief was slightly different in that we asked entrants to use one of our signature liquids, Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, to invent experimental new serves that could have an enduring popularity. And we were not disappointed!”

He went onto say: “Each pair not only pushed the boundaries in mixology; showcasing new and never-seen-before methods but also took us on rich sensorial journeys featuring nuances from their individual cultures - making each entry truly unique in their own right. Needless to say, it’s been an amazing week of experimentation and collaboration with Johnny and Yu perfectly demonstrating the level of creative success that can be achieved when two very different minds come together!”

The 2018 final featured nine pairs of finalists from France, UK, Taiwan, India, Bulgaria, Israel, Spain, USA and the UAE. The crowned winners will travel to the most influential bar shows, Tokyo Bar show & BCB Brooklyn, to showcase their experimental ethos globally. Johnny Tsai will also return as a judge for the 2019 World’s Most Experimental Bartender Competition.

Posted by Steve Rush