Photo: TTC.

The 69th World Cocktail Championship, the most important event of the International Bartenders Association (IBA), was inaugurated this Friday in Varadero with a colorful parade of flags on classic motorcycles, in which all the delegations present at the meeting participated.

This is the first time that a World Cocktail Championship takes place in Cuba, and the second time in Latin America. After beating the candidacies of Italy and Russia, the largest of the Caribbean islands won the nomination to celebrate the event in 2022 due to the professional level of the Cuban bartenders, the organizational capacity of the country, its safety and its hospitality.

About sixty nations from around the world are participating in the prestigious competition, represented by an equal number of bartenders to compete in classic style, and in Flair; all accompanied by the presidents of the IBA member associations.

Opening the event, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz welcomed all the participants, especially the competitors; while highlighting the importance of events like this, which places in a high position the potential of the sector in the country and shows that Cuba is not isolated in the world.

During the opening remarks, Cuban Tourism Minister Juan Carlos García Granda stated that it is an honor to receive the best bartenders in the world on the Caribbean island, and that the event will mark a before and after for Cuban gastronomy in general. “We assume this championship not to measure strengths, but to fraternally share knowledge and affection,” he said.

The head of the Ministry of Tourism stressed that the Cuban bar is the heritage of the nation and that this tradition materializes in the succession of talented bartenders, under the accurate guidance of the Cuban Association of Bartenders (ACC), founded in 1924 and considered the oldest of its kind in the world.

García Granda also highlighted the excellent conditions of the Meliá Internacional Varadero Hotel, chosen to host the 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.

For his part, Giorgio Fada, president of the IBA, underlined the significance of holding the event in a country with great professionalism in cocktail mixing.

Among the recognitions that guarantee the excellent reputation of the Caribbean island within the IBA are the privilege of being the only nation in Latin America that has a world cocktail champion, in addition to five Pan-American champions and dissimilar bartenders awarded in international competitions. Likewise, Cuba has a dozen classic cocktails that are famous on a global scale, such as the Daiquirí, the Mojito and the Cubalibre.

As a novelty, the 2022 edition of the Championship will have Cuban rum as the base of the elaborations. The mandatory base spirit during the event for the preparation of cocktails in competitions will be of the Havana Club brand, sponsor of the event.