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Indonesia’s Abraham Reinehard and Willy Gunawan Win Johnnie Walker Global Bartender Challenge

Indonesia’s Abraham Reinehard and Willy Gunawan Win Johnnie Walker Global Bartender Challenge

FoodieS Team
28 June 2024

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Local bartenders Abraham Reinehard and Willy Gunawan have won the prestigious Johnnie Walker Black Label Global Bartender Challenge, earning recognition for their innovative cocktail creations.

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Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch Whisky brand, has announced the winners of its Black Label Global Bartender Challenge. Local bartenders Abraham Reinehard, Head Bartender at Le Burger at the Alila Hotel SCBD, and Willy Gunawan, Restaurant & Bar Manager at Vong Kitchen at the Alila Hotel SCBD, have won an exclusive three-night immersive Black Label experience in Scotland, the home of Johnnie Walker.

The Johnnie Walker Global Bartender challenge invited bartenders worldwide to share an Instagram reel of their own signature Johnnie Walker Black Label cocktail, explaining why the blended Scotch whisky works perfectly in the serve. With entries from over forty countries, Reinehard and Gunawan’s creations were selected as the two winners from Asia, with only six other winners chosen globally. 

Tim Philips-Johansson, Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador, and Jan Šebek, the winner of the Johnnie Walker challenge at Diageo World Class 2023, selected the winners. Entries were shortlisted and recreated by the judges during a tasting session in Amsterdam, focusing on which entries used Johnnie Walker Black Label in the most exciting yet balanced way.

Meet the Winners

Reinehard’s winning cocktail, the Jakarta Mule, combines Johnnie Walker Black Label with artichoke vermouth, bitters, calamansi purée, elderflower syrup, and local traditional Bir Pletok. “I am so happy to be named a winner of the Johnnie Walker Black Label Bartender Challenge. It’s great for me as a bartender to share my experience, especially being able to share my cocktail inspired by Indonesian culture with the world. Indonesia is widely known for herbs and spices, and I believe ‘Jakarta Mule’ will be remembered forever,” shared Reinehard.

“Reinehard’s cocktail was delicious and very well balanced. Jan and I particularly enjoyed the way the ginger and elderflower flavours complemented each other and thought the use of the artichoke liqueur was excellent,” praised Tim Phillips-Johansson, the Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador.

At the same time, Gunawan presented Caka Walker Lang, inspired by the local dish Cakalang. His cocktail includes Johnnie Walker Black Label, turmeric, kaffir-infused vermouth, lemon juice, agave syrup, and habanero bitters. “The Johnnie Walker Black Label Bartender Challenge is a great opportunity for bartenders. I enjoyed combining local ingredients with the best Scotch Whisky in the world and am honoured to be selected as a winner for the Asia Region. #KeepWalking,” said Gunawan.

Phillips also commented on Gunawan’s cocktail, saying, “Willy’s cocktail was a great combination of flavours. We loved the way the turmeric complemented both the Johnnie Walker Black Label and kaffir lime leaf, and the addition of the habanero bitters, which gave the cocktail a light spiciness, was a brilliant idea.”

A Heritage of Craftmanship

The Johnnie Walker Global Bartender Challenge highlights Johnnie Walker Black Label’s credentials and gives back to those who have supported the award-winning blended Scotch whisky within the bartender community. Created over 100 years ago by the Walker family, Johnnie Walker Black Label continues to be celebrated for its rich, iconic flavor, expertly blended from the very best whiskies from the Four Corners of Scotland.

The winners will enjoy a trip to Scotland during the Burns Night weekend in January 2025. The itinerary includes a traditional Burns Night celebration, a visit to the Diageo Archive, a behind-the-scenes distillery tour, a deconstructed tasting of Johnnie Walker Black Label with Dr. Emma Walker, Johnnie Walker Master Blender, and various experiences at the Johnnie Walker Brand home, Johnnie Walker Princes Street.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is a true icon, recognized as the benchmark for all other deluxe blends. Created using only whiskies aged for a minimum of 12 years from the four corners of Scotland, Johnnie Walker Black Label has an unmistakably smooth, deep, complex character. An impressive whisky to share on any occasion.

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