Jean Trinh, co-founder of Alquímico in Cartagena, Colombia, has won the 2022 Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award. This award is voted for by the bartenders on this year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Bars, who were asked to name one peer who pushes the limits of what it means to be a great bartender.
The award goes to a personality who made a significant impact in the global bar sector over the voting period and recognises their commitment to the international community in that time. This is the second of two special awards to be announced ahead of the live awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 marks the first time the illustrious event has been held outside London since its 2009 inception. The ceremony will unite the global bar community in recognition of the best bars in the world.
“We’re delighted to announce Jean Trinh as the winner of this year’s Altos Bartenders’ Bartender,” said Mark Sansom, Content Director for The World’s 50 Best Bars. “From his strikingly inventive approach to the art of cocktail making to his forward-thinking attitude towards sustainability and his unerring commitment to his team and his community, Jean’s spirit rings true to each of the key tenets of what makes a winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.”
French with Vietnamese heritage, Trinh was born into hospitality, growing up in his parents’ restaurants. In 2013, his journey 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 a three-storey mansion in the historic heart of the city.
Known for serving more than 850 guests daily, Alquímico offers three unique concepts – La Mansión, El Balcónm and Terraza – each with their own cocktail menu. Throughout the bar, Trinh champions the diversity and produce of his adopted home, searching the country for new producers and craftspeople to allow him to put sustainability at the heart 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 the high-volume cocktail program. During the global pandemic, in the face of a complete shutdown, Trinh led his team #FromTheBarToTheFarm, housing his bartenders and their families and collaborating with local small producers and 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 reliance on sugar, reforested native trees and created an educational space for the local farming community as well as colleagues within the industry that wished to learn more.
In 2020, Alquímico joined the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars at No.47, the first Colombian bar ever to feature. In the same year, they were also the first bar from Latin America to be awarded the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award.
On winning the award, Trinh says: “It is such an honour to be named Altos Bartenders’ Bartender by the amazing people of my industry. When the pandemic struck, we were forced to re-evaluate everything about how we lived and worked together but I am so proud of the achievements of my team through this time. Together we have built a stronger community and a more sustainable Alquímico, which I hope will continue to inspire sustainable practices around the world. I am so thankful to receive this recognition from my peers after the rollercoaster we have all been on for the last few years and I hope to welcome them all to Alquímico to share our drinks and our ideas in the years to come.”
Carlos Andres Ramirez, Head of Global Advocacy and PR for Altos Tequila, says: “Supporting the community of bartenders has been a pillar for Altos Tequila since its creation in 2010. Twelve years on,we continue to invest in this support via the Tahona Society Competition initiative, the first sustainable projects competition. From the Altos Tequila and Tahona Society family we want to congratulate our friend from Alquímico, 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 to 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 of Tayēr + Elementary, London, in 2019; Renato ‘Tato’ Giovannoni, of Florería Atlántico, Buenos Aires, in 2020 and Lynnette Marrero of Llama Inn, New York, in 2021.
The countdown of the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 will be broadcast live to a global audience who are not able to attend in person. Bars and cocktail lovers are invited to join through The World’s 50 Best Bars Facebook page and 50 Best Bars TV channel on YouTube.