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Chivas Regal crowns Atsushi Suzuki champion

Chivas Regal has crowned Atsushi Suzuki from the Sober Company in Shanghai, China, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. Over a  five-day finale in Tokyo, Japan, Atsushi overcame competition from 14 bartenders and led the winning Chivas Masters Collective team to victory, before being declared the overall champion.

Atsushi’s winning team drinks ritual was The Double Talk, which was made using Chivas Regal 12, and presented with a focus on Japanese craftsmanship, kind service and attention to detail.

As the newly crowned 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, Atsushi has won an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team led by Atsushi – comprising Mexico’s Haydée Barron Flores and Ryan Nightingale from Hong Kong – walked away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

Upon being crowned champion, Atsushi commented: “Wow. It is such an honour to receive this – and in my home town too. I feel like it’s a win for Japan as well as for China. And of course it’s not just for me, but for my awesome team of Haydée and Ryan, and my sensei, Iain. I’ve found friends for the rest of my life through the Chivas Masters – and I’ve learnt how to be a better bartender too.”

Max Warner, global brand ambassador for Chivas Regal, commented: “The Chivas Masters Global Final has again shown the world the wonderful values and principles that great bartending can harness. Atsushi fully took the Chivas Regal spirit of generosity and collaboration with him into the final, which was the eventual point of difference in a very tough field – alongside, of course, some spectacular bartending skills.

“Beyond the serve itself, teamwork and collaboration are just as crucial to the craft of drinks-making, and we have witnessed that here today, and throughout the entire contest. That is why we are also delighted to honour the entire winning Chivas Masters Collective, who helped lead our champion to victory and demonstrated that success really does taste better shared.”

The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final was host to a panel of acclaimed judges: Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd; Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group and ‘ice chef’; Chris Lowder, ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender’ in 2015; Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; and Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench. Each not only scored the finalists, but also shared their expertise through a series of masterclasses over the course of the week.

The evening also saw the first ever Chivas Masters global champion, Masa Urushido, honoured as a grand master, in his native Japan.

Atsushi Suzuki’s winning drinks ritual:

The Double Talk

40ml Chivas Regal 12

20ml Campari

20ml Bianco Vermouth

Garnished with Matcha Tea Salt

Stirred and served over block ice in a rocks glass

11 July 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor