In collaboration with The Blend by Beam Suntory, The World’s 50 Best Bars will fund internships for one bartender at London’s The Connaught and New York’s Katana Kitten.

The winner will then be hosted by The Blend team in Madrid, with flights between destinations paid for, alongside a weekly living expense of £500.

The theme of the inaugural 2022 scholarship is ‘Future Positive’, containing the ambition to ‘cultivate practices and attitudes that will have a positive impact for the planet, for guests and the hospitality community.’

The scholarship will reward bartenders who emphasise low-waste or local ingredients, alongside pushing for greater diversity, balance and representation in hospitality workplaces.

Mark Sansom, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Bars, said: “We could not be more excited to launch the 50 Best Bars Scholarship, in partnership with The Blend by Beam Suntory.”

“It’s an initiative we have been planning for several years and it is truly excellent to be able to work with a brand such as Beam Suntory, which shares our vision to professionalise the craft of bartending and support bartenders with a future-gazing ideology,” Sansom added.

Meimi Sanchez, The Blend Global’s Senior Brand Manager also expressed her delight at partnering with The World’s 50 Best Bars.

“We are really excited to be collaborating with 50 Best on this scholarship opportunity, playing a part in shaping and supporting an emerging bartender’s career.”

“This award isn’t about what the winner has achieved in their career so far: it’s about where they want to go, and how they want to see – and be – the change in bartending,” Sanchez explained.

The venues involved were also excited to be part of the scholarship, with Agostino Perrone, Director of Mixology at Connaught Bar, saying: “We at Connaught Bar are very excited to host the first-ever winner of the 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship for a learning experience with us.

“I look forward to assessing the applications and giving the opportunity to the deserving winner to take part in this amazing experience.”

Meanwhile, Masahiro Urushido, Managing Partner of Katana Kitten, added: “The Katana Kitten team is honoured to be working with The World’s 50 Best Bars and Beam Suntory on the first-ever Scholarship.

“We are excited for this opportunity to host and share our unique hospitality values with this bartender on the start of their professional journey behind the bar.”

Masahiro Urushido, Managing Partner of Katana Kitten.

The selection process is comprised of three-stages. Round one will ask applicants to share their vision of ‘Future Positive’ and what it means to them through a video application and questionnaire format.

The best 25 applicants will then move to round two, where they will be asked to produce a drink inspired by the ‘Future Positive’ theme, heroing a local ingredient. Applicants will also be required to ‘show their working’, documenting the R&D and other processes that go into producing their drink.

The drinks and the applicants will be judged by previous winners of the Sustainable Bar Award, including: Vijay Mudaliar (Native and Analogue, Singapore), Ashish Sharma (The Surf Club, Miami), Jean Trinh (Alquímico, Cartagena), Kelsey Ramage (The Trash Collective, USA), Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory, Brooklyn) and Luke Whearty (Byrdi, Melbourne).

Five applicants from round two will move onto the final round. This stage consists of a rigorous interview process with 50 Best Bars, The Blend and a representative from sustainability accreditation non-profit, B-Corp. The Connaught’s Perrone and Katana Kitten’s Urushido will also be on the panel.

From these five, three finalists will be hosted at the World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 awards ceremony, where the winner will be announced, with the internships taking place in 2023.

Sansom concluded: “We look forward to receiving applications from all over the world as we give this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to someone that will undoubtedly set their career into overdrive.”

Applications will open on May 19, and close on June 20. Applicants can apply to the scholarship here.

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