As you might expect from such an iconic whisky brand as Chivas, its debut into the competition arena was never going to be anything other than first-class. Why would it be? With its enviable pedigree and rich heritage that dates back to 1801, Chivas have always done things with impeccable style.
The Chivas Masters, its inaugural global competition doesn’t disappoint. Posing the question, ‘When was the last time you created a classic?’, the best bartenders around the world have been invited to create four classic cocktails from each of the key eras in drinking history.
It makes sense. Chivas is one of the few truly international brands that can claim to have been present in each of the great cocktail eras. Think of The Classic Age from 1880-1920, when Harry ‘The Dean’ Johnson was showing the world what was what on the drinks front. In the 1888 edition of his Bartenders Manual, he included a recipe for the Morning Glory Fizz. Chivas 12 was the star of the coupe glass.
It was there in The Post-War Boom of 1945-1960 too. This was the time that ‘Trader Vic’, brought Tiki drinks to the fore, and in doing so became recognised as one of the most famous bartenders of all time. And yes, rum drinks were his forte but Chivas 12 was mixed up with fresh lemon juice, honey, passionfruit nectar and egg white in his recipe Starboard Light, found in his Book of Food And Drink, from 1946
And on to the good old Disco Years of 1975-1990. That 25 year period may seem like it had turned its back on well-made libations but there were some classics standing their ground, including the Rob Roy, the cocktail of choice for discerning drinkers. As celebrated then as it is today – it calls for just three ingredients: Chivas 12, Italian vermouth and a dash of Angostura aromatic bitters – each asserting its reason for being in the glass.
Which leads us on to the present day, or The Age of Revivalism. Here’s where magic can really happen, when the creativity and inquisitive minds of today’s career bartenders mix it up with the classics of the past.
Drawing on the prominence of Chivas in cocktail history, The Chivas Masters has invited bartenders from leading outlets to create four cocktails, one from each of the four eras identified above. And its not just about creating showstopping drinks. The contestants must also demonstrate their understanding of cocktail heritage and engage the judges with the inspiration behind their Chivas cocktails.
As Media Partners, we will be covering this exciting competition in its entirety – from the six UK heats, taking in Bristol, Oxford, two London heats, Manchester and Edinburgh, through to the UK finals taking place in London on 3rd June. We’ll also be at the Global Final in New York in July where the UK winner will be battling it out with the other finalists from around the world in a nail-biting two-day competition.
The prize is a corker: finalists will then be flown directly to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail – a must-visit for any bartender. The overall winner of The Chivas Masters will be announced over a Chivas Welcome Dinner at Tales . The prize? A once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy opportunity to work in partnership with a craftsperson to create a luxury, must-have article for the bartender community. Now that’s worth getting excited about.
Like we said, Chivas have always done things with impeccable style.