Cartagena’s Jean Trinh of Alquímico wins cocktail industry’s highest award

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Courtesy: Worlds 50 Best

Jean Trinh, founder of Cartagena’s Alquímico bar, has been named the winner of the 2022 Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award. This prestigious award is voted on by bartenders on this year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, who were asked to name a partner who pushed the boundaries of what it means to be a great bartender.

The award is given to a personality who has had a significant impact on the bar industry globally during the voting period and recognizes their commitment to the international community at the time. This is the second of two special awards to be announced ahead of the awards ceremony to be held on October 4, 2022 in Barcelona. The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, sponsored by Perrier, marks the first time the illustrious event has been held outside London since its inception in 2009. The ceremony will once again unite the global bar community in recognition of the best bars in the world.

Mark Sansom of The World’s 50 Best Bars said: “From his surprisingly inventive approach to the art of bartending to his progressive attitude toward sustainability and his unwavering commitment to his team and community, Jean’s spirit is true to each of the key principles of what makes an Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award winner.”

French with Vietnamese heritage, Trinh was born in hospitality, growing up in his parents’ restaurants. In 2013, his path led him to Cartagena de Indias and the indelible experience of Colombian hospitality, opening his first pop-up bar just six months later. Within three years, he established Alquímico in an impressive three-story mansion in the historic heart of the Old City.

Known for serving more than 850 daily customers, Alquímico offers three unique concepts – La Mansión, El Balcón and Terraza – each with its own cocktail menu, under one roof. Throughout the bar, Trinh champions diversity and the products of his adopted household, looking to the country for new producers and artisans who will allow him to put sustainability at the center of every decision he makes.

In 2018, Alquímico invested in a 25-acre farm in rural Colombia to sustainably and organically grow the freshest produce for its high-volume cocktail program. During the global pandemic, in the face of the total shutdown, Trinh led his team #FromTheBarToTheFarm, housing his waiters and their families and collaborating with small producers and local farmers to learn and develop sustainable agricultural practices. In addition to selling their organic produce, they donated food baskets to the poor, built an apiary to reduce the bar’s dependence on sugar, reforested native trees, and created an educational space for the local farming community, as well as for industry colleagues who wanted to learn more.

In 2020, Alquímico entered The World’s 50 Best Bars list at No.47, being the first Colombian bar to appear. That same year, it was also the first bar in Latin America to receive the Ketel One Sustainable Bar award.

In winning the award, Trinh recalls that “when the pandemic hit, we were forced to reevaluate everything related to the way we live and work together, but I am very proud of my team’s achievements during this time. Together we have built a stronger community and a more sustainable Alquímico.”

Carlos Andrés Ramírez at Altos Tequila affirms that “supporting the bartender community has been a mainstay for Altos Tequila since its inception in 2010. Twelve years later, we continue to invest in this support through the Tahona Society Competition initiative, the first sustainable project competition. From the altos Tequila family and Tahona Society we want to congratulate our Alquímico friend, Jean Trinh, for winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender award as part of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022.”

The Altos Bartenders’ Bartender award was introduced at The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2017 and the inaugural winner was Iain Griffiths of Dandelyan. Joe Schofield, of the recently opened Schofield’s Bar in Manchester (UK), won in 2018; Monica Berg, from Tayēr + Elementary, London, in 2019; Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni, from Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, in 2020 and Lynnette Marrero, from Llama Inn, New York, in 2021.

The 2022 The World’s 50 Best Bars list recount, sponsored by Perrier, will be broadcast live to global audiences. Bars and cocktail lovers are invited to view the ceremony through the Facebook of The World’s 50 Best Bars and event’s YouTube channel.