50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship 2022

50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship 2022

In May 2022, The World’s 50 Best Bars launched its first-ever scholarship for aspiring bartenders in collaboration with The Blend by Beam Suntory. Applications were open from May to June and are now closed. 

The winner of the first 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship was announced at The World's 50 Best Bars 2022 awards ceremony in Barcelona on 4th October as Drew Fleming of Kiki Lounge, Isle of Man – a small self-governing British Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea.

In this opportunity of a lifetime, Fleming will be invited to complete two bar stages (internships) in some of the world’s most-renowned bars: the legendary Connaught Bar in London, named The World’s Best Bar in 2021 and 2020, and Katana Kitten in New York, which holds the No.9 position in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022.

After completing the stages in early 2023, he will then be hosted by The Blend by Beam Suntory for an experience of a lifetime in Madrid, Spain.

The internships take place in 2023 and flights between the destinations are included in the prize. The winner also receives £500 per week in living expenses to enjoy the exciting host cities.

How to apply
Applications for the scholarship are now closed. The scholarship is open to bartenders across the world over the age of 21 and with under five years’ professional experience.

Register on The Blend’s website to find unique content to help entrants apply to the scholarship.

What is needed for the application?

- Your general details
- A short written statement that describes your cocktail philosophy (maximum 250 words)
- A short written statement and a video talking about innovations, small or large, that you think would make a positive impact on the future of the bar industry (maximum 250 words and up to 60 seconds)
- What you think the five skills for a modern bartender are (five keywords)
- A few photos of yourself behind the bar or making cocktails (three to five)

Future Positive
The theme of the 50 Best The Blend Scholarship for 2022 is 'Future Positive', encouraging bartending practices and attitudes that will have a positive impact on the planet. Bartenders will be rewarded for their low-waste or local approach to ingredients and push for greater diversity, better representation and balance within the workplace. Scholarship applicants will need to show a readiness to contribute to this outlook.

The selection process
The scholarship recipient is selected via a three-stage judging process:

Round One: Applicants are asked to introduce themselves and share their vision of ‘Future Positive’ and what it means to them as a bartender in a short video, as well as answering some questions about their career to date.

Round Two: The shortlisted candidates design a drink, inspired by the ‘Future Positive’ theme, that heroes one local ingredient. The design must be accompanied by evidence of the research, development and creative process.

This stage is judged by 50 Best Bars stalwarts including Vijay Mudaliar (Native and Analogue, Singapore), Ashish Sharma (The Surf Club, Miami), Jean Trinh (Alquimico, Cartagena), Kelsey Ramage (The Trash Collective, USA), Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory, Brooklyn) and Luke Whearty (Byrdi, Melbourne).

Round Three: Selected candidates are invited for an interview with representatives from 50 Best, The Blend, Agostino Perrone of Connaught Bar and Masahiro Urushido of Katana Kitten.