Bengalurian bartender Rohan Matmary has been crowned the winner of the third edition of the Brown-Forman American Whiskey Legacy Cocktail Challenge 2019 after coming up trumps against 17 other mixologists from across India in the grand finale of the competition.
All the mixologists, representing some of the top bars in the country, exhibited great craftsmanship to present some of their signature cocktails at the event which took place at The Playground Bar at JW Marriott, Aerocity, Delhi.
However, it was Rohan, who also happens to be the assistant general manager and mixologist at Byg Brewski, won the hearts of judges and audiences alike with creations Lillianaire and Aztec Mule at the nail-biting finale.
As a result of winning the competition, the 25-year-old bar chef will go on a guided tour to the iconic Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, US. Besides the distilleries, he will also attend the Bar Convent Brooklyn, the leading international bar and beverage trade show, as part of a global bartending contingent and will rub shoulders with some of the best bartenders globally.
“This is my second time in the championship and I didn’t know that it would be lucky for me. As my friends know, I am not that kind of guy who takes part in all the contests. But this contest is something else and I really wanted to win it. My signature cocktail Lillianaire is a tribute to the hard working women of our country,” said Rohan Matmary speaking about his triumph.
The annual championship, now in its third year, asks mixologists from across India to create signature cocktail recipes with some of the most well-known American Whiskies – Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel.
The competition was judged by industry experts including Yangdup Lama, one of India’s finest and well-known mixologist; Vikram Achanta, CEO and Co-founder of the popular portal Tulleeho and Vinay Joshi, Brand Manager – Jack Daniel’s for Indian Sub-Continent and Maldives, Brown-Forman Worldwide LLC.
The finale saw 17 finalists, who were selected from 300 mixologists from the cities of Delhi, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Pune, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai and Bangalore, out of which 100 were shortlisted for Round 2. They had gone through a rigorous elimination process over three months.
The recipes of all the top 17 finalists will also be featured in Jack Daniels Cocktail Booklet – “Original Recipes from India’s Finest Mixologists”, which will be released soon.
The 17 finalists also get an opportunity to join Jack Pack, an exclusive invitation only mixologist network which also counts last two years finalists as its members. The exclusive group is a platform provided by Jack Daniel’s to the country’s best mixologists to network, share their cocktail recipes & experiences, and connect with each other.