Glenfiddich, the World’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, recently opened its 2018 global search for the Most Experimental Bartender and this year the competition welcomes Philippine contenders. The competition kicked off in 2016 and since then it has been running annually in the US, UK, India, Dubai, and Spain to name a few. This year marks the first for the Philippines.

The search aims to inspire bartenders to unlock their experimental spirit and collaborate with specialists from different fields to create brand new ways to experience whisky. Imagine bartenders working with scientists, culinary experts, jewelers, carpenters, musicians, architects, or even engineers to develop a new way of serving Glenfiddich whisky! Whatever they come up with, we definitely want to taste it!

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Spanish bartender David Kandinsky and artisan ice cream master Santi Gόmez bagged last year’s global title with their experimentation on locally sourced ingredients to create three bespoke bitters designed to enhance the flavors infused into Glenfiddich 15 Year Old which was then incorporated into three ice cream serves.

On September 3, ten Philippine finalists will be competing for the semi-finals at Century City Mall Convention Center. The best national entries will be judged live by Aaron Goodall (bar consultant from Low Tide Tiki (Singapore), Dixie Marinas (co-founder and resident mixologist of, Niccola Van Heemsbergen (executive chef of Manila Peninsula Hotel), Nicole Huang (regional brand manager of Glenfiddich), and SiJie Leaw (regional marketing manager under Brown Spirits of William Grant & Sons).

Here are the finalists who made it to the competition:

  1. Abby Quilal-Ian (ABV) and Kristyn Ang (Chef, Chocolatier, Owner – Nama PH)
  2. Ian libang (Spirits Library & NoKal) and Silvester Samonte (Barista, Co-Founder and Direction for Coffee at El Union Coffee, Co-Founder and Director at Developers at Origin Coffee Network)
  3. Jay Natividad (Spirits Library) and Brett Bayly (Entrepreneur, Managing Director at The SABREN Group)
  4. John Silva (La Coctelera at Rambla) and Chef Alexandra Versoza (Pastry Chef)
  5. Lennon Aguilar (1824 Whisky and Cigar Bar) and Dr. Rogel Mari Sese (Astrophycisist, Program Leader at National SPACE Development Program, and President at Regulus SpaceTech Inc.)
  6. Nhikko Lacambra (Mandalay Whisky & Cigars Bar) and Raymart France (Musician, Digital Marketing Manager)
  7. Richie Cruz (Cobbler) and Octavius Cajucom (Musician, In-House Graphic Deisgner, Animator)
  8. Roel Diocton (La Vita at Marina Bay) and Morgan Martinito (Painter)
  9. Shinichi Ito (Versus Barcade) and Kevin Fortu (Barista Trainer, Manager at The Coffee Experience)

(Poch Ancheta (The Back Room at Shangri-La The Fort, BGC) backed out from the competition due to his busy schedule)

Five finalists will be chosen during the semi-finals and will compete for another leg on September 19 at Nova Gallery, La Fuerza. The local winner will go on to represent the Philippines at the global competition in Scotland.

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The global winner of Glenfiddich’s Most Experimental Bartender 2018 will showcase their serve and skills at two of the world’s most influential global bar shows in Tokyo and New York and will return to Scotland by 2019 to judge the 2019 Glenfiddich World’s Most Experimental Bartender.

For more information visit Glenfiddich’s website or follow updates on Instagram with hashtags #FollowTheExperiment #GFExperiments. is your learned drinking buddy who can tell you what to drink, what you’re drinking and where to drink. Learn about the coolest and the latest bars in the metro, or the newest beverage or new product out in the market, or have fun creating enjoyable drinks from our features and videos within the comfort of your homes.

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