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Julien Escot Wins Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix 2012

Julien Escot of the bar Papa Doble in Montpellier, France has won the 2012 Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix. 

All images provided by Havana Club

Escot beat out 40 bartenders from countries around the world (not including the US due to the embargo) to win the title. The competitors first made drinks in the semi-finals. They had to prepare a twist on a Cuban classic and an original creation. 

From those 40, just three bartenders were chosen to go into the finals. They were Julian Escot, Ryan Chetiyawardana of London (who is working on some new bar projects currently but has spent time at venues including Worship Street Whistling Stop and Bramble in Edinburgh), and Chris Hysted of Black Pearl in Melbourne, Australia. 


For the finals, the three bartenders repeated their two drinks from the semi-finals. They then had to make a new creation with a box of mystery ingredients they were given half an hour to work with. Finally, the bar was open to all attendees and the bartenders had to make drinks for the crowds. For this part they were judged on their speed and accuracy and service, as well as cleanliness of their work station and how well they worked with their barbacks. 

Ryan Chetiyawardana prepared a drink with roto-vapped Daiquiri syrup in his spin on the classic cocktail. For his original, he used something he called "beer vermouth." In his mystery box drink, he used avocado, coconut, mango, grapefruit bitters, parsely, and other ingredients.


Chris Hysted made a Mojito variation with Fernet-Branca and carbonated horchata (!). He also made a variation of the Japanese cocktail, and his mystery box drink included clinatro, cucumbers, chilis, anise, watermelon, and chocolate bitters. 


Julien Escot's drink recipes are below. He created a twist on the Daiquiri with vanilla syrup, allspice, and egg whites, and a Julep with allspice liqueur and falernum. His mystery box drink included grapes, basil, peach bitters, and curacao.


Congratulations to Julien Escot winner of the Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix 2012! 

Recipes from Julien Escot of Papa Doble in Montpellier France

WEST INDIES (twist of Daiquiri)
Shaker / coupette / cubed ice
50 ml Havana Club 3 Year Old
20 ml fresh lime juice
20 ml homemade vanilla syrup
5 ml Pimento Dram, The Bitter Truth
10 ml egg white
2 dashes Creole Bitters, The Bitter Truth
Garnish: grated nutmeg

Build/ Julep Tin / crushed ice
80 ml Havana Club 7 Year Old
10/12 fresh mint leaves
5 ml Pimento Dram, The Bitter Truth
20 ml Homemade Velvet Falernum
Garnish : mint sprig , candied orange zest, crushed spices (cocoa, star anise, cinnamon, cloves)

Infusion of vanilla, coffee bean and cinnamon in boiling sugar syrup
Sirop de sucre de canne
2 pods of Bourbon vanilla
Cinnamon stick
Coffee bean

Infusion of the ingredients in boiling sugar syrup. Then Mixed with Havana Club 3 Year Old
Sugar syrup
Pod of Bourbon vanilla
Stalk of lemongrass
Piece of ginger
Coffee beans
Almond extract
Mint leaves
Havana Club 3 Year Old


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