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Master Clash

Posted on  | August 25, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Chivas Regal ‘Masters’ taps top mixologist in NYC grand finale

Dave Arnold, Booker & Dax; Masahiro Urushido, Saxon + Parole and inaugural Chivas Master; and Max Warner, Chivas Global Brand Ambassador

International bartender competitions are nothing new, and so when the team behind Chivas Regal decided to launch their own, setting a very high bar was a crucial component.

In order to take home the prize at the inaugural Chivas Regal Masters Grand Final, New York City bartender Masahiro Urushido had to beat out a contingent of 13 international competitors over two rigorous days of shaking, stirring and even carbonating whisky cocktails. Urushido’s “The New Pal” cocktail helped him to secure the victory and the opportunity to work in partnership with Dave Arnold, cofounder of New York’s Booker and Dax, on a new bar tool concept to be revealed at the Chivas Masters final in 2015.

During the heats, which began in April, on through the finals, bartenders from Dubai, Germany, China, Greece and other nations were asked to create a new classic that would stand the test of time, inspired by one of four great cocktail eras: the Classic Age (1880-1920), the Post War Boom (1945-1965), the Disco Years (1975-1990) and the present Age of Revivalism.

During the two-day final, the bartenders competed in a series of challenges designed to test their creativity and skills. Highlights included a milk-based cocktail pairing with food served at Momofuku Milk Bar, as well as a cocktail pairing with a dish from Momofuku Ssäm Bar, experimenting with carbonation after a class led by Arnold; and presenting classic disco era drinks at NYC’s famed Dead Rabbit.

Like the competition itself, the judging panel was top shelf: Ago Perrone, director of mixology at the Connaught Bar in London, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, the men behind The Dead Rabbit; and Max Warner, Chivas Global Brand Ambassador.

According to Urushido, it was a test worth passing. “As a bartender, I am well aware of the long heritage of Chivas, so immersing myself into the history of cocktails to create a drink that can stand the test of time has been very inspirational. I hope that it encourages other bartenders around the world to create new Chivas cocktails inspired by the great classics.”

The New Pal, winning Chivas Master cocktail created by Masaharu Urushido

1.5 oz. Chivas Regal 12 Year
3/4 oz. Chamomile-Infused Campari*
3/4 oz. Dolin Blanc

Stir and strain over hand carved ice into rocks glass.
Garnish: Chamomile ‘mist’ (spray chamomile tincture from atomizer), fresh chamomile flower and chamomile salt (chamomile scented Maldon salt) on 1/4 rim of the glass

*Chamomile-Infused Campari
Place 1L of Campari and 6 Tbsp of dry chamomile flowers in ROP (Reduced Oxygen Packaging) bag and vacuum seal it.
Store at room temperature for 3 hours.
Strain through cheese cloth.


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