Finalists From The Americas & Caribbean For 2017 Diplomatico World Tournament Named

Share Article

Peru, Panama and Chicago Take Top Spots in Aruba Finals

Rum Diplomático announced the winners of the Continental Semi-Finals in America & the Caribbean. Jose Luis Valencia of Peru, Enrique Auvert from Panama and Kevin Beary from Chicago achieved top recognition, after competing in a group of 12 talented bartenders. The three finalists will travel to London at the end of June to compete in the global finale. As the next round in this global cocktail competition, contestants were selected from North America, Central America & the Caribbean, and South America with one winner from each region. The competition took place at the Ritz Carlton and 297 Bar in Aruba. The first leg of the competition focused on creating a cocktail with Diplomático’s new mixing rum, Mantuano, followed by a second round focused on creating the perfect serve with Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva, the brand’s flagship expression.

This is the 3rd installment of the biennial competition organized by the award-winning Venezuelan rum, and was hosted by industry luminary Tad Carducci, Director of Spirits Education at Domaine Select Wine & Spirits. The esteemed judging panel included Eric Lorincz, head bartender at the iconic American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel, Pamela Wiznitzer, one of America’s top mixologists, and Kevin Brauch, Canadian celebrity chef and speaker. Other competitors this year included Freddy Moreno from Colombia, Franky Marshall from New York, William Seijas from Venezuela, Brandon Casey from Arizona, Simon Alberti from Mexico, Freddy Johnson from Grand Cayman, Sean McGuigan from Vancouver, Bruno Facina from Brazil and Gavin Miller from Montreal.

“It was very exciting to organize such a wonderful event in Aruba and see so much talent gathered in one place,” said José Rafael Ballesteros Meléndez, Diplomático’s C.E.O. “All of the participating bartenders came up with amazing cocktail creations and the three winners will now fly to London to take their chance at the global finale, competing with some of the best bartenders in the world, It will be a fantastic professional experience for all of them. ”

Contestants underwent multiple rounds and were judged on their original cocktail creations based upon three main criteria of technique, presentation, décor and garnish and organoleptic subjects (such as taste, texture, aroma and balance). This year more than 1,200 bartenders entered the competition from 40 countries. 13 finalists will compete in the global Finals.

Founded in 2013, the Diplomático World Tournament was developed to honor the bartender community worldwide. Participants compete first in a regional qualifying round, winners advance on to the country final, then representatives from each country go to continental semi-finals, where they then compete for a spot in the global Finale. This year’s finale will be held in London at the prestigious Savoy Hotel’s Beaufort Bar. Diplomático continually strives for excellence and innovation within the rum category and is currently the only Venezuelan rum producing an international event of this nature.

*Note: photography available upon request.

About Rum Diplomático (
Rum Diplomático, a brand inspired by the character of Don Juan Nieto Melendez, is a super-premium rum hailing from Venezuela. Located at the foot of the Andes Mountains, the Diplomático Distillery (producing top-quality spirits since 1959) combines traditional methods with modern technology to produce the finest of rums. The production area boasts great conditions for sugar production including fertile lands, abundant water and favorable weather. Their team of award-winning Master Blenders work diligently to create unique and complex rums. The product range consists of the New Tradition Range: Planas (aged up to 6 years), Mantuano (aged up to 8 years) and Reserva Exclusiva (aged up to 12 years), and the Prestige Line: Single Vintage 2000 and Ambassador, both are aged 12 years and finished in sherry casks for one and two years respectively.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Victoria Cooper
since: 08/2012
Follow >