Roberto Dimitrov was distinguished among 150 professional bartenders to become this year's winner of the iconic Bar Masters program

The five editions of the format, organized by Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, led over 650 professional bartenders through various challenges, useful webinars, and intriguing training

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Roberto Dimitrov won the fifth edition of Bar Masters - the emblematic program for the bartending community in Bulgaria, organized by Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria. The grand finale of the format took place on September 26, and this year's winner of the title "Bar Master of Bulgaria 2023" distinguished among the competition thanks to his professional skills and a lead of 26 points in the final ranking. With his original cocktail - Robbie’s old fashioned, he won the votes of the respected jury, consisting of Kevin Kos - founder of "Cocktail time with Kevin Kos", Isac Melander - the global brand ambassador of Naked Malt whiskey, Fabio Dotti - coffee expert and brand ambassador of Caffè Vergnano, and Slavi Buchkov - chef at Captain Cook Fish and Beef Restaurants. Roberto Dimitrov went through a series of challenges, helpful webinars, and intriguing tutorials and fought off competition from 150 professionals to reach the final stage, featuring two competitive rounds where he competed against over 20 contestants. In addition to the prestigious title "Bar Master of Bulgaria 2023", this year's winner won a cash prize worth BGN 5,000 and a visit to the "Athens Bar Show 2023". The prestigious second and third places, in the contested challenge, were taken by Yuliy Radulov and Vasil Pavlov, with prizes of BGN 3,000 and BGN 2,000, respectively.

The Bar Masters challenge unites professionals in the industry for the fifth time, and to date, more than 650 bartenders have participated in the editions, within the program, they have gone through several challenges and trainings. This year's format took participants through an intriguing cocktail adventure combining hands-on and theoretical training, valuable guidance from professional mixologist David Rios, as well as representatives from Norwegian cocktail bar HIMKOK. The program also included a bartending camp, workshops, and master classes, some of which were held by the multiple Flair world champion - Alexander Shtifanov, and the mentors of the Bar Academy program, as well as for the first time - an action to plant trees on the territory of Borovets. This year, Bar Masters participants had the opportunity to plan their own pop-up bars, where they prepared over 150 signature cocktails to reach the final contested stage, which included two rounds. In the first round, named Coffee Martini, they had 6 minutes to make 3 Espresso Martini cocktails with different flavor profiles. After that, only 10 participants remained in the challenge and competed in the final round, in which they traditionally had to impress the jury with their original cocktail, within 8 minutes.

Alongside the iconic Bar Masters program, the Home Masters challenge for amateur bartenders took place for the second year in a row. The format is organized by Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria, and its aim is to challenge all enthusiasts who have the desire to create cocktails and show their skills, but have not had the opportunity until now. Nearly 100 nonprofessional bartenders took part in the adventure and the battle for prizes. They also had the chance to be among the guests at the Bar Masters final to gain knowledge and inspiration from the leading names in the field.

The grand finale of the Bar Masters did not end the special day. After the contested competition, everyone had the opportunity to enjoy cocktails personally prepared by two of the jury members - Kevin Kos was a guest bartender at Bar Me, and Isac Melander prepared inspiring drinks for the customers of 5L Speakeasy bar.

The Bar Masters program aims to create a new generation of bartenders in Bulgaria Every year it upgrades its training, which is focused not only on the process of creating cocktails but also on creating a menu, bar management, communication with the consumers, etc.

In the search for the best Bar Master of Bulgaria for 2023, some of the most popular brands of Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria participated – well-known as the first carbonated non-alcoholic drink in the world - Schweppes, the official whiskey partner of "THE WORLD'S 50 BEST" BARS" - the Naked Malt, the uncompromising Gentleman Jack whiskey, Finlandia vodka, the Brugal brand - with over 130 years of history in the creation of rum, the premium gin brand BULLDOG, the newest member of the Jägermeister family - "MANIFEST" and the Italian coffee with over 140 years of history - Caffee Vergnano.

Consume responsibly!