Ghana’s Survaiva Benjamin Donkor Wins Johnnie Walker Global Bartender Challenge

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Benjamin Donkor
Benjamin Donkor

Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky, has announced the winners of its Black Label Global Bartender Challenge, with Ghanaian bartender, Survaiva Benjamin Donkor, Senior Bartender at Tribeca Restaurant, winning an exclusive three-night immersive Black Label experience in Scotland, the home of Johnnie Walker.

Bartenders from across the world were invited to get creative and 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, Survaiva Benjamin Donkor’s serve was selected as a winner from Africa, with only seven other winners selected from across the globe.

Survaiva Benjamin Donkor’s winning cocktail, named The Black Secret, combines Johnnie Walker Black Label with fresh lemon juice, activated charcoal syrup, crème de cassis, coconut liqueur and fresh pineapple juice.

The trip, which is due to take place across the Burns Night weekend in January 2025, will offer the winners the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Burns Night celebration in a truly authentic way, as well as experiences including 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 the opportunity to enjoy an array of experiences throughout the Johnnie Walker Brand home: Johnnie Walker Princes Street.

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

Survaiva Benjamin Donkor said: ‘I am incredibly grateful for the honour of being selected as one of the winners of the Johnnie Walker Black Label Bartender Challenge. It is truly humbling and I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved. This achievement is for Africa, and I know my motherland is very proud of me. It has always been my dream to win a global competition like this and words alone cannot express how I feel now’.

Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador Tim Phillips-Johansson said: ‘Survaiva’s fruit-forward cocktail impressed us, particularly the way in which the crème de cassis complemented the Johnnie Walker Black Label. Coconut with pineapple is a classic combination for a reason and we really enjoyed how Survaiva took these flavours and twisted them to create his own signature serve’.

The initiative was designed to shine a light on Johnnie Walker Black Label’s liquid credentials and give back to those who have supported the award-winning blended Scotch whisky within the bartender community.

Johnnie Walker Black Label was first created over 100 years ago by the Walker family who were not content with the one-note flavours and inconsistent whiskies of their day. They took bold steps to make a significantly better Scotch Whisky – expertly blended to create the rich, iconic flavour that is still made today.

Johnnie Walker Black Label takes the very best whiskies from the Four Corners of Scotland, each expressing the aromas and tastes typical of that region, to create a beautifully balanced liquid celebrated worldwide.

For further information, please visit @johnniewalker on Instagram or contact: Senior Brand Manager for International Premium Spirits & Reserve, Abena Chrappah, via abena.chrappah@diageo.com

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