Ninon Fauvarque wins the 2018 Havana Club Grand Prix
The French bartender also takes home the First Sip and the People’s Choice awards in unprecedented win.
In Havana, Fauvarque, a 23 years old bartender with only 14 months experience stunned a jury of world-renowned mixologists such as Audrey Saunders (Pegu Club), Sam Ross (Attaboy) or Carina Soto Velásquez (Candelaria) with an assured performance throughout the competition. She was first picked as one of the top ten contenders after the semi-finals on the 31st of May. The following day, she took first place after a hotly contested final. Curvas, her winning drink, based on Havana Club 7, called for horchata, lime and bitter orange reduction, spiced honey syrup and red beans aquafaba. Stepan Abrahamyan from Armenia and Johnson Wisdom Dogbey from Ghana took second and third place.
Furthermore, Fauvarque won two other awards. Her semi-final drink got the First Sip Award, based on the first impression left by cocktails of that round. Experimental psychologist Charles Spence judged it alongside four bar experts. Her final drink received the People’s Choice Award. Actually, no bartender had ever won more than one award at the event. Fauvarque, who works at La Queue du Coq in Annecy, France, has received prizes including a substantial budget to develop a yet to be determined rum-related project in the coming months.
The Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix is organized every two years by Havana Club. The theme of this 12th edition was Cuba Moderna, with a special focus put on sustainability. This is the first time a woman has ever won it.
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