World Cocktail Championship

Cuba will receive the most renowned bartenders, authorities and cocktail specialists at a global level on the occasion of the 69th edition of the World Cocktail Championship, which will take place from November 4 to 9 in Varadero. The largest of the Caribbean islands is hosting the prestigious event for the first time and Havana Club suggests 10 curiosities related to the event that you would like to know.

1- What is the World Cocktail Championship and how often is it held?

The championship is the most important event of the International Bartenders Association (IBA) and brings together the best global exponents. Every year it is celebrated with the support of various companies in the beverage industry; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they had not been held for two years.

2- Why was Cuba chosen as the host country for the 69th edition of the event?

Cuba won the nomination to hold the event in 2022. During the IBA Annual General Assembly, the Caribbean island beat the candidates from Italy and Russia with 24 votes in favor. Cuba, which will host the event for the first time, was chosen for the professional level of the Cuban bartenders, the country’s organizational capacity, its security and its hospitality.

3- Who are the organizers of the contest?

The International Bartenders Association (IBA) is organizing this edition together with the Cuban Bartenders Association (ACC), which has more than 2,000 members throughout the country.

4- What facility will host the event?

The Meliá Internacional Varadero has been the hotel facility chosen to host the prestigious event for its impeccable service, the quality of its products and the good work of its staff. In addition, it has a convention area that exceeds 2,000 square meters in rooms and alternative locations next to the pool, the beach and the gardens.

5- Who is participating in this Championship?

Some 60 nations from around the world are participating in the 69th edition of the World Cocktail Championship, represented by an equal number of bartenders to compete in classic style and in free style (known as Flair); all accompanied by the presidents of the IBA member associations.

6- What will be the base of the preparations?

Cuban rum has been chosen as the base for the elaborations that will be created in the 2022 World Cocktail Championship. The mandatory base drinks during the event for the preparation of cocktails in competitions will be from the Havana Club brand, sponsor of the event.

7- How will the competition be carried out?

On this occasion, the Championship will break its competitive scheme and new rules will apply. The classic style will consist of three levels. In Level I or the preliminary round, all the contestants will participate in five different categories of cocktails: appetizers, digestives, long, sparkling and, for the first time, non-alcoholic. Each national member association will be randomly assigned a cocktail category. Bartenders will be able to show their skills and present three samples of a newly created cocktail according to their characteristic.

The top three places in each cocktail category will advance to the next semi-final round, or Level II of competitions. The bartenders will have to face three challenges: a tasting test, a speed test and a knowledge test, with the elaboration of three randomly selected cocktails from the IBA portfolio. The four best results will advance.

Level III or the Super Final round is defined by the presentation of a new cocktail, with Havana Club as the mandatory base rum.

8- What novelties does this edition bring?

For the first time, the welcome cocktail will be in charge of the eight executives of the International Association, the president of the ACC and the last world champion, winner of the 2019 contest. They, in ten of their own stations, will be in charge of preparing Cuban classic cocktails for the opening toast.

In addition, a Guinness Record will be sought by creating the largest Adam and Eve cocktail in the world, in tribute to the success of Cuban bartender Sergio Serrano Rivero, who with this creation of his was proclaimed world champion in 2003. The cup made by Havana Club for the giant Daiquiri made long ago on the island, as well as a Cuban apple liqueur, produced by the La Estancia company especially for the occasion, will be used for the creation of this giant cocktail.

9- Why are Cuban bartenders called “cantineros”?

The peculiar denomination is due to the Spanish inns established in Cuba in the past, which served canteens with food to their clients and later began to sell drinks and cocktails; hence, those who worked in these establishments were called “cantineros.”

10- What awards does Cuba have in international cocktail competitions?

Among the recognitions that guarantee the country’s excellent reputation within the IBA are the privilege of having a world cocktail champion, five Pan American, three President Cup and other international awards. In addition, it has a dozen classic cocktails that are famous on a global scale, mainly the Daiquiri and the Mojito.

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