This post is sponsored by Flor de Caña

 A UK based bartender takes the prize with a winning sustainable Flor de Caña cocktail.

Manachain Monaghan, owner of Below Stairs Bar in Leeds, UK, took the crown at the virtual finale of Flor de Caña’s Sustainable Cocktail Challenge. He competed against 30 top bartenders from around the world to create an incredible sustainable cocktail.

Manachain’s winning drink Steamship featured home-made cacao and lime bitters, coffee liqueur made from reused Nicaraguan coffee beans and Fair Trade certified sugar, saline solution and Flor de Caña 12 Year Rum. Served over a block of ice, the cocktail was presented on a coaster made from dehydrated pear. “I wanted to create a beautiful cocktail that captured the essence of Nicaragua and proved that sustainability can be embraced behind the bar to improve the flavour and experience of our cocktails,” said Manachain.

As well as taking the title of Flor de Caña World’s Most Sustainable Bartender and a cash prize of USD$10,000, Steamship will be promoted by Flor de Caña globally. Runners up Carlos Sierra (Colombia) and Joe Ngui Wee Kwong (Malaysia) came second and third, winning a prize of USD$5,000 and USD$2,500 respectively. Asia was well represented with Mackenzie Ross (China), Abraham John Suyo (Macau), Yao Miao Ling (Taiwan), Saw Zhen Hoong (Singapore) and Nguyễn Ngọc Khánh (Vietnam) all featuring in the final.

Winning cocktail Steamship

Judges assessed cocktails based on sustainability components, flavour, appearance, creativity and the backstory and inspiration. The star studded judge lineup featured Julio Cabrera from Café La Trova in Miami, Hannah Sharman-Cox and Siobhan Payne, co-owners and organisers of London Cocktail Week, and Salvatore Calabrese of The Donovan Bar in London, who said Manachain’s cocktail was mind blowing. “It’s incredible the amount of time and effort he dedicated to make sure that his cocktail was truly and totally sustainable,” added Salvatore.

The Sustainable Cocktail Challenge is a celebration of Flor de Caña’s historic commitment to sustainability, with the rum being the world’s only Carbon Neutral and Fair Trade certified spirit. It is also distilled using 100% renewable energy and all CO2 emissions during fermentation are captured and recycled, with Flor de Caña also planting  50,000 trees annually since 2005. 

Due to the great success of the first edition, this original competition will be returning in 2022 as part of the brand’s sustainability program “Together for a Greener Future.” Watch this space!