Flor de Caña names Jez Carreon from Employees Only Singapore as winner of the Singapore finals of its Sustainable Cocktail Challenge for 2022.

Sustainable Nicaraguan rum brand Flor de Caña crowned the Singapore winner of its Sustainable Cocktail Challenge 2022. Jez Carreon of Employees Only Singapore emerged from a field of 10 competitors to clinch victory in a competition that challenged the finalists to conceive a cocktail that encapsulated the ideals of sustainability.

The Flor de Caña Sustainable Cocktail Challenge is a global competition that aims to “inspire the bartending community to become sustainability champions and build a greener future together” by creating spectacular cocktails using sustainable ingredients and techniques, as well as Flor de Caña Rum, the world’s only Carbon Neutral- and Fair Trade-certified spirit.

Members of the judging panel were headed by Adrian Niño, the beverage director of Bar 1802 at Monte Cristo Hotel in Paris, who swung into Singapore to judge the competition. Other judges included Joe Ngui of Live Twice (who placed third in the 2019 global competition), Chris Saw from 28 Hong Kong Street (who was Singapore’s 2019 champion), and Jasmine Tuan of Zero Waste Singapore.

New Life - Jez Carreon
Jaz Carreon’s winning New Life cocktail was even served on a coaster he personally handmade using sustainable materials such as coffee grinds.

The judges evaluated cocktails based on elements such as history and inspiration behind the cocktail, the use of sustainable ingredients, techniques, and the level of creativity, as well as flavour and appearance. Carreon’s competition cocktail, New Life, combined Flor de Caña 12 Year rum, sweet vermouth infused with cascara (the husks of coffee cherries that are normally discarded), red wine reduction (made from oxidised leftover wine), as well as coffee tincture (from used coffee grounds) and chocolate bitters.

Morgan Barron of Jigger & Pony and Poh Chuan of soon-to-open Nighthawk took second and third spots respectively in the Singapore leg of Flor de Caña Sustainable Cocktail Challenge 2022. Barron’s cocktail Discard was a twist on an Old Fashioned that was served in a grapefruit husk, while Chuan’s The Staple Shake employed banana peels and coconut cream for a rum-infused milkshake.

poh chuan nighthawk the staple shake
Nighthawk’s Poh Chuan putting the final touches to his The Staple Shake, a boozy and creamy concoction that won him third place.

“We were truly impressed by the efforts of Jez and the other competitors to develop such creative yet sustainable cocktails that embodied Flor de Caña’s ethos and mission,” said Rob Scott, Flor de Caña Southeast Asia Brand Ambassador.

Carreon took home a competition trophy made from sustainable materials, a super-premium bartender kit, as well as a personalised bottle of Flor de Caña 25 Year Rum. He will move on to represent Singapore in the regional finals in Bangkok, Thailand in October this year.

The winner of the regional finals will then be able to compete in the global finals of the Flor de Caña Sustainable Cocktail Challenge, which will take place in Nicaragua next year.

Disclosure: The writer was a member of the judging panel.

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